Wicker-Vitter Bill to Ban E15 Is Latest Nanny-State, Protectionist Measure for Coddled Petroleum Industry

Press Contact: Monte Shaw


Bill Preserving Federal Petroleum Mandate is Valentine’s Day Gift to Big Oil

JOHNSTON, IOWA – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and David Vitter (R-La.) late yesterday introduced legislation (S.344) that would ban E15 as a legal fuel choice for Americans, thereby protecting the federal petroleum mandate.  The bill is the latest attempt by Big Oil to hold on to its virtual monopoly over U.S. fuel supplies.

In response to the legislation, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:

“The Wicker-Vitter bill is a big, wet kiss for Big Oil on Valentine’s Day.  Banning a legal product from competing with foreign oil is the ultimate in big government, nanny-state protectionism for the coddled petroleum industry.  I guess we should no longer be surprised by the lengths Big Oil will go to protect its federal petroleum mandate.  E15 is a legal fuel for American motorists to choose, but Big Oil doesn’t want consumers to have that choice.

“Big Oil has enjoyed a Century of Subsidies at taxpayers’ expense and nearly 40 years of a federal petroleum mandate.  After exhaustive testing, the approval of E15 represented the first minuscule reduction of the petroleum mandate in 30 years, but Big Oil is working non-stop through legislative, regulatory and judicial efforts to ban E15 as a lower cost option for motorists.  Why is Big Oil so afraid of a little competition from American farmers?  Is it because they know their foreign oil can’t compete with lower-cost, cleaner-burning, higher-performing ethanol?”

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production.  Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and two cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.