Budzinski Helps Introduce Next Generation Fuels Act to Increase Ethanol Blends, Lower Fuel Prices

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13) joined U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), Darin LaHood (R-IL-16) and Angie Craig (D-MN-02) to introduce the Next Generation Fuels Act. This bipartisan legislation would phase in higher gasoline octane levels by increasing the use of ethanol – reducing prices at the pump for consumers. U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) haveintroduced companion legislation in the United States Senate.

“Expanding the role biofuels play in our nation’s fuel supply will reduce gas prices, support family farmers and cut harmful emissions – a win-win-win,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “I’m proud to be introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act to prioritize biofuels and producers in Central and Southern Illinois. Thank you to Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Angie Craig and Darin LaHood for coming together on this bipartisan legislation.”

“Iowa is the top ethanol producing state in the United States, and I know that our biofuels industry is of utmost importance to our economy,” said Congresswoman Miller-Meeks. “Our legislation would promote increased use of higher ethanol blends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health, and support agriculture’s contribution to the economy and environment. I’m proud to be joined by the entire Iowa delegation in spearheading this important legislation.”

“Biofuels, particularly ethanol, continue to be a vital market for our corn farmers in the 16th District of Illinois and throughout our state. Rural communities across the Midwest have seen the benefits of increased ethanol production through new job opportunities and increased markets to sell their products,” said Congressman LaHood. “I am proud to support reintroduction of the Next Generation Fuels Act, which builds off of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to provide more efficient energy solutions while supporting Illinois agriculture producers.”

“It is absolutely essential that we embrace an all-of-the-above energy approach as we work to slow the effects of climate change, and the Next Generation Fuels Act helps get us there,” said Congresswoman Craig. “Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation is good for Minnesota’s family farmers, good for Minnesotans at the gas pump and good for the environment, and I’ll be working with members of both parties to pass this bill.”

“High-octane ethanol has the power to deliver the performance and savings consumers need, while driving down transportation emissions,” said Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO. “We applaud Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Nikki Budzinksi (D-Ill.) for leading efforts to unleash the full potential offered by American biofuels. This bipartisan legislation represents a common-sense step toward lower prices at the pump, greater energy security, and cleaner air. We urge lawmakers to join forces with our House and Senate champions to quickly send the Next Generation Fuels Act to the president’s desk.”

“We’re very grateful to Rep. Miller-Meeks, along with Reps. Craig, LaHood and Budzinski for taking the lead on this priority legislation for corn growers,” said Tom Haag, National Corn Growers Association President. “Advancing the Next Generation Fuels Act is timely for Congress’ work on energy and environmental issues, offering solutions that lower fuel costs, reduce emissions and help shore up America’s energy security for the long run.”

“The Next Generation Fuels Act overcomes a host of regulatory barriers currently standing in the way of expanding the use of ethanol, and we thank these bipartisan House leaders for recognizing the value ethanol holds as an immediate solution to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO. “We look forward to working with members of Congress on how this bill can build upon other clean fuel legislation to spur biofuel demand.”

The Next Generation Fuels Act is supported by the National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, John Deere, and United Auto Workers. Text of the bill can be found here.

Background:

The Next Generation Fuels Act would phase in higher gasoline octane levels through the greater use of ethanol beginning with a 95 Research Octane Number (RON) standard for automobile model year 2028 and increasing to 98 RON by model year 2033. For a new vehicle to receive certification from an automaker, the bill would require the automobile to operate with an E25 blend for model year 2028 and an E30 blend for model year 2033 onwards. The bill would also require fuel retailers to carry these higher blend fuels.

By requiring the new high-octane fuel to utilize low-carbon ethanol, the Next Generation Fuels Act will decarbonize liquid fuels as vehicle technologies advance. This requirement ensures that progress already made to expand the use of ethanol while lowering emissions continues.

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