Blessed with an abundant supply of domestic energy sources, American families should always have access to affordable gasoline 365 days a year. In the United States — where we used to produce more energy than we could consume — filling up at the gas station shouldn’t break the bank, energy shortages shouldn’t be common, and our Strategic Petroleum Reserve shouldn’t be drained for political purposes.?
Regrettably, through the power of the pen, President Biden has intentionally weaponized his office to hinder American energy production and make gas more expensive for our families. Already facing higher prices, rising interest rates, and economic uncertainty spurred by President Biden’s wasteful spending policies, our families cannot afford his relentless attacks on American energy. Instead, our energy policies must reflect our ironclad commitment to lower energy costs for Americans and restore American energy dominance.?
Fortunately, in the Midwest, we have the antidote to the Biden administration’s costly Green New Deal agenda: homegrown American ethanol. E-15 — which is a cleaner, more affordable alternative to standard gasoline, and is comprised of 15 percent corn ethanol — saves drivers, on average, anywhere between 15 and 30 cents a gallon. Compared to standard gasoline, E-15 displaces roughly 700 million barrels of foreign oil every year, reduces emissions by 46 percent, and powers America’s rural economy.?
At our incessant urging, President Biden recently authorized E-15 sales this summer, easing, if only slightly, the pain of inflation that he created. This waiver, while long overdue, is welcome news for our families, farmers, and rural communities who desperately need breathing room in their budgets. However, we cannot continuously rely on last-second, hasty waivers to deliver relief at the pump for our families. We need consistency, reliability, and certainty for ethanol producers, corn growers, fuel retailers, and our families.
Working with our colleagues in both chambers on both sides of the aisle, we introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act to allow for the permanent sale of E-15 at gas stations nationwide — no bureaucratic waiver necessary. According to industry estimates, making E-15 available year-round permanently would create over 188,000 good-paying jobs, save drivers roughly $20.6 billion in fuel costs, and generate well over $66 billion in economic activity in rural America. It would also reduce carbon emissions by more than 17.6 million tons. The benefits for our producers, families, and economy are too great to ignore this vital legislation that will finally guarantee certainty and permanency for American-made ethanol.?
Along with making year-round E-15 sales permanent, we need to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faithfully upholds the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as directed, through law, by Congress. Late last year, the EPA’s proposed updates to the RFS would require 15.25 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply in 2023, 2024, and 2025. This rule recognizes the importance of ethanol to the American economy, affordable fuel costs for families, and decarbonization efforts nationwide. However, we must remain relentless in our advocacy for a strong, consistent RFS that protects corn growers, ethanol producers, and American families. Without rigorous oversight, we have witnessed — through WOTUS regulations, electric vehicle mandates, and green energy orthodoxy — that the EPA can, and will, unlawfully supersede congressional intent to advance liberal policy priorities.
Every year, corn growers and ethanol producers in Iowa, Minnesota, and across the heartland cultivate the solution to our energy crisis. The pathway to energy security and cheap gas isn’t a secret, it’s growing across fields in the Midwest. If President Biden ends his barrage of red tape on rural America, we can lower gas prices for our families and restore American energy independence with homegrown ethanol. We guarantee that our producers are up to the task.
Randy Feenstra represents the 4th District of Iowa and is a member of the Agriculture Committee. Michelle Fischbach represents the 7th District of Minnesota.