WASHINGTON — On July 26, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Next Generation Fuels Act, a proposal that aims to leverage higher-octane fuels to improve engine efficiency and performance. Allowing the sale of fuels with greater octane levels would increase the amount of ethanol that can be utilized in the fuel supply, in turn lowering prices at the pump for consumers.
“Unstable gas prices have left many families – especially rural families – with a lot of budget uncertainty. The Next Generation Fuels Act would gradually ramp up the use of homegrown ethanol at gas stations across the country, making Americans less reliant on foreign oil and less vulnerable to the anti-competitive tactics of OPEC. As we look to the future of liquid fuels, this legislation can play a critical role in restoring energy independence, saving consumers money, lowering carbon emissions and expanding the market for farmers and ethanol producers,” Grassley said.
“As Iowans are getting crushed under sky-high prices at the pump, and America continues to depend on foreign countries for our energy, we should be turning to our own abundant domestic production right here in the U.S., including clean, homegrown biofuel. This is a no-brainer,” Ernst said. “This bipartisan legislation will move America closer to energy independence and away from relying on our adversaries, all while lowering costs for consumers and supporting our hardworking farmers and biofuel producers.”
Joining Grassley and Ernst in introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act were Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and is cosponsored by all members of the Iowa congressional delegation, including Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa).
“We sincerely thank Sen. Grassley, along with Sens. Klobuchar, Ernst, and Duckworth, for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the Senate. These lawmakers recognize that Americans will continue to rely on liquid fuels and internal combustion engines for decades to come, and their legislation would ensure consumers have access to more efficient, lower-carbon, lower-cost fuels for their vehicles. This summer’s geopolitical instability, record-high gas prices, and more frequent natural disasters all underscore the need for real and immediate energy solutions for American families. This bill provides those sensible solutions, and we look forward to working with clean fuel supporters in both chambers of Congress to turn this bold vision into a reality,” Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO said.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act lays out a common-sense path forward for low-cost biofuels. While multifaceted, IRFA is very excited the bill would ensure new vehicles are compatible with higher biofuel blends. This often-overlooked fact is key to allow ethanol to compete based on its high octane, low cost and low carbon profile. Policy proposals that leave ethanol blends essentially capped at 10 percent are not technology neutral. Given a fair chance, we strongly believe biofuels like ethanol will continue to benefit consumers and the environment for decades to come. IRFA applauds Sen. Grassley for leading the bipartisan Senate effort to introduce the Next Generation Fuels Act. No one has done more to fight for biofuels than Sen. Grassley and we look forward to working with him to pursue opportunities to move this bill forward,” Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act would lower fuel prices, reduce carbon emissions and shore-up America’s energy security for the long run,” Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington said.“We are very grateful to Sens. Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst and Duckworth for their leadership on this important issue.”
“The Next Generation Fuels Act represents a clear roadmap for delivering cleaner, more affordable options at the pump for American drivers,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said. “With a natural octane of 113, ethanol is the only high-performance, renewable fuel ready to help decarbonize cars on the road today – and with the added benefit of offering consumers significant savings at the pump. We applaud Senators Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst, and Duckworth for working to promote the use of high-octane, lower-carbon biofuel blends that hold enormous potential for rural America’s role in clean energy production and lowering prices at the pump. We urge swift passage of this legislation as it works to offer both climate solutions and gas price relief to the American people.”
“Iowa Corn Growers Association thanks Senator Grassley for his dedication to supporting the Next Generation Fuels Act. Setting a new low-carbon octane standard opens a top market for Iowa corn growers and provides drivers greater access to the most affordable, home-grown, cleaner-burning fuel on the market today,” said Lance Lillibridge from Benton County, Iowa, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
“NFU is pleased to see further momentum on the Next Generation Fuels Act, through the introduction of companion legislation in the Senate by Senators Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst, and Duckworth. This important legislation supports usage of higher-level blends of ethanol, which NFU has long supported. Higher level blends of ethanol, like E30 is good for farmers, good for the planet, and good for the pocketbooks of Americans,” Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union said.
Due to ethanol’s high-octane rating, greater ethanol blends result in both additional fuel efficiency and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. Ethanol is also priced lower than gasoline, making it the most cost-effective octane source. This legislation establishes a minimum research octane number (RON) standard of 98 for gasoline, which is higher than the typical octane rating of 91 RON today. It also requires sources of the added octane value to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 percent compared to baseline gasoline.
By requiring the new high-octane fuel to utilize low-carbon sources, the Next Generation Fuels Act will decarbonize liquid fuels as vehicle technologies advance. This requirement, coupled with a new limit on harmful aromatics content, ensures that progress already made to expand the use of ethanol while lowering emissions continues.
Full text of the bill is available HERE.
— Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley