IRFA Applauds Ernst, EPW Committee for Hearing on E15 Fix

Contact: Cassidy Riley

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a public hearing on legislation to fix an unintended regulatory quirk that treats E15 and E10 differently during the summer months, which makes E15 virtually impossible to sell in most markets June through mid-September. Following the hearing, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:

“IRFA applauds Senator Ernst for all the work she did to get this hearing scheduled. Testimony given today clearly demonstrated that freezing E15 out of the marketplace during the summer hurts consumers, competition, and public health.  Preventing access to a high octane fuel that is both cheaper and cleaner is truly the poster child for dumb government regulation. There is not a single legitimate reason to oppose Senator Ernst’s bill to fix this problem. Regardless of how senators may feel about renewable fuels, this bill is not really pro-ethanol as much as it is anti-stupid government regulation.  IRFA will work with Senator Ernst to urge the committee to quickly and cleanly approve her bill to expand consumer access to E15.”

During the hearing Briggs and Stratton CEO Todd Teske raised concerns that allowing consumers the choice of E15 for vehicles could lead to misfueling of small engines.  In response, Shaw made the following statement:

“I have been pleased with several Briggs and Stratton engines I’ve owned over the years and fueled with nothing but E10. Over one billion miles have been driven on E15 without a single report of misfueling. It never ceases to amaze me that despite all the evidence to the contrary, some industry groups continue to dance to Big Oil’s tune on E15 – even when it means essentially saying your own customers are too stupid to read a straight-forward fuel label. Further, this bill isn’t about approving E15.  E15 has already been approved for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles.  E15 can be sold year-round in reformulated gasoline markets and for eight and a half months in conventional gasoline areas.  This bill only removes the idiotic regulatory quirk that freezes out E15 sales during the summer season in conventional gasoline areas.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually – including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 350 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: