Fuels

Klobuchar Leads Ethanol Push With 3 Bills

Legislation would provide incentives for higher ethanol blends and flexible fuel vehicles
convenience store alternative fuel
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced a series of bills last week that would provide incentives for gas station owners to offer higher ethanol blends and for automakers to make flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs). Two of the bills are co-sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa); one provides funding for higher blend infrastructure and the other offers FFV incentives. A third bill is co-sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and offers a tax credit for the sale of E15 and higher ethanol blends.

The bills align with recommendations the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) provided to Congress April 15 as it considers infrastructure spending.

“When infrastructure legislation discussions began earlier this year, ACE called on congressional leaders to provide incentives for retailers to sell E15 and E85 and for automakers to resume the production of flexible fuel vehicles to achieve immediate climate benefits from clean energy infrastructure,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “ACE members are pleased to see the introduction of these bipartisan bills, which include our recommendations and would help capitalize on ethanol’s ability to make near- and long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Low Carbon Biofuel Credit Act, introduced by Klobuchar and Thune would provide retailers and fuel blenders a direct incentive to offer higher ethanol blends, including a 5-cent tax credit for each gallon of E15 sold, and 10 cents for each gallon containing more than 15% of lower-carbon ethanol.

The Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act introduced by Klobuchar and Ernst would provide $1 billion over 10 years to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand the sales of low-carbon biofuels.

The Clean Fuels Vehicle Act also introduced by Klobuchar and Ernst would provide an automotive incentive for every FFV manufactured.

“Higher ethanol blends continue to grow in popularity among drivers looking to save money while protecting our climate. This legislative push offers a means to put higher biofuel blends within reach of drivers faster than ever, so we can make a greater difference for the climate today,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We applaud Senator Klobuchar and her colleagues for making biofuels a top priority for congressional leaders, and we urge lawmakers to take advantage of this opportunity to support America’s farm communities, save drivers money and reduce carbon emissions.”

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