Biofuel and farm groups wrote President Biden and asked him to restore year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol-blended gasoline in response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Just when oil and gasoline supplies are being squeezed by war in Ukraine, Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper says the U.S. needs more, not less fuel volume, and renewed summertime E15 sales would help. “We’ve got oil prices at an eight-year high, they’re headed for record levels, we have gas prices approaching record levels, and we think this administration has a big opportunity right now to put a lid on gas prices by simply allowing more ethanol to be blended with gasoline.”
Cooper says ethanol is now 70 to 80 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline. The RFA, Growth Energy, American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union, National Corn Growers, and others wrote President Biden saying year-round E15 can help insulate the U.S. from the war’s oil shocks. Cooper; “Unless something changes very quickly, we only see oil prices moving higher, we only see retail gas prices moving higher. Something has to be done to put the brakes on skyrocketing prices that we’re seeing, or it’s going to begin to hit Americans in their pocketbook. And then you have to worry about the possibility of recession.”
Cooper dismisses reports by Reuters that the Biden Environmental Protection Agency is actively considering suspending biofuel mandates to reduce high gas or food prices, which he blames on oil, not ethanol prices. Cooper; “So, we don’t think there’s any truth or any validity to those rumors. We certainly haven’t heard anything along those lines from the administration, and we don’t think the administration has any interest in reducing the supply of domestic renewable fuels at a time when pump prices are going through the roof.”
The biofuel and farm groups argue to Biden that ethanol displacing imported petroleum will only boost U.S. energy independence, cut emissions, and help farmers and rural economies.