U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced the Armed Forces Fuel Choice Act. This bipartisan legislation would require all commercial gas stations located on military bases in the United States to offer E15 fuel. This bill would also ensure that members of the Armed Forces, their families, and other eligible customers have access to this cleaner, more affordable fuel option. All gas stations within the bill’s jurisdiction would have until January 1, 2024, to begin selling the fuel, with a second compliance year permitted for sites requiring updated storage tanks.
“Our men and women in uniform should have access to the most affordable fuel options, regardless of where they are serving,” said Thune. “As gas prices hit record-highs, E15 fuel is a cost-effective and clean alternative at the pump, and this bill would ensure that military bases across the country provide it as an option for servicemen and women and their families.”
“Not only do our servicemembers deserve access to more affordable fuel options, but reducing our nation’s reliance on foreign oil and depending more on homegrown biofuels can bolster our national security,” said Duckworth. “By encouraging the sale of E15 at on-base military commissary and exchange stores, the Armed Forces Fuel Choice Act will underscore that energy security is an important part of our national security and help our military families save their hard-earned money at the pump.”
As of April 2022, E15 is sold at 2,667 gas stations nationwide, contributing to the more than 5,400 gas stations that sell higher blends of biofuels – above the standard E10. E15 provides consumers with a more affordable fuel alternative at the pump. This month, a gallon of ethanol was $1.42 less per gallon than unblended gasoline, a savings that is amplified in higher blends of biofuels. There are more than 180 gas stations on Air Force and Army installations in the continental United States, which dispensed more than 335 million gallons of fuel in 2020.
Thune and Duckworth have long supported the use of E15 fuel as a way to leverage American agriculture in order to provide consumers with a cost-effective and clean fuel option. In March, Thune and Duckworth successfully urged President Biden to resume the year-round sale of E15 fuel in order to lower gasoline prices and reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign sources of energy. This policy went into effect on June 1. Thune and Duckworth cosponsored bipartisan legislation to make the year-round sale of E15 permanent, as well as legislation to update greenhouse gas modeling for biofuels to accurately reflect their lifecycle emissions reductions.