Bustos & Loebsack Urge Trump Administration to allow year-round sale of E15

In Letter to the President, Heartland leaders press the President to take this step to help hardworking farmers

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Congressman Dave Loebsack sent a letter to President Trump urging him to allow year-round sale of E15 ethanol blended fuel. Currently E15 is not permitted to be sold during the summer, however allowing year-round sale would be a boon to farmers who are struggling to get by in this tough agricultural economy.

“Too many of our hardworking agricultural producers are struggling as a result of low commodity prices and a trade war with no end in sight,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “While this is not a complete solution to all of these challenges, one way we could improve things is by allowing the year-round sale of E15 to provide a boost to corn growers across the heartland. I strongly urge President Trump to make this common-sense change to strengthen our agricultural economy.”

“Ethanol is a homegrown renewable energy source that supports millions of jobs in rural communities across Iowa and throughout the country,” said Congressman Loebsack. “Allowing the sale of E15 in the summertime would remove an unnecessary barrier to greater choices at the pump. Additionally, this move will help expand consumer choice at the pump, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, and stimulate economic development throughout rural communities.”

 

Below is the text of the letter Reps. Bustos and Loebsack sent today. Click here for a signed copy of the letter:

October 5, 2018

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to request your support for farmers by finally honoring your pledge to grant a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver, which you have repeatedly committed to do, for E15 (gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol) from June 1 to September 15.  Further, we urge you to honor this pledge without taking other actions that undermine the current effectiveness of the Renewable Fuels Standard.  Allowing the year-round sale of E15 represents a significant step towards strengthening America’s Heartland.

Commodity farmers are currently facing unprecedented challenges.  Stagnating prices are chief among them.  A bushel of corn in August, 2018 sold for $1.90 less than it did 10 years ago in August, 2008.  At the same time, farm expenses continue to rise.  With these and many other obstacles threatening Heartland agriculture, farmers are more reliant than ever on expanding markets.

The current law restricting the sale of E15 during summer months presents a major obstacle to increased market share for corn farmers. Ninety-seven percent of vehicles in the United States are E15 compatible, yet only a little over 1% of fueling stations currently sell this blended fuel.  The prohibition on E15 sales during the summer months, when fuel demand is at its highest, represents a major deterrent to more widespread adoption of E15 pumps by fueling stations.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that the RVP for E15 is any higher than for E10.

We request that you remove this unnecessary regulatory burden that is impeding economic growth in the Heartland and grant a RVP waiver for E15.  The number of stations that will be able to sell E15 is projected to nearly double by 2021, and opening markets to year-round E15 sales presents a potential new market for billions of bushels of corn.  It would also strengthen ethanol refineries which are engines driving economic growth for many rural communities.

At a time when American agriculture is under attack and the livelihoods of many in the Heartland are threatened, we ask that you renew your commitment to support and expand markets for farmers and “empower them to do the hard work that they love to do so much.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Cheri Bustos

Member of Congress

 

Dave Loebsack

Member of Congress

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