Congressman Nunn leads Iowa delegation letter to EPA to speed up E15

by | Feb 27, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

It only took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) five or six hundred days passed their deadline to rule on an application of bipartisan Midwest governors, led by Iowa’s Kim Reynolds to let them use a provision under the Clean Air Act to allow these states to use E15 year-round. This was the latest in the ongoing saga to get the fuel available at pumps without needing a Presidential waiver.

Well, last week, the EPA finally got the job done and gave the green light for these states to do that. The announcement was celebrated with a sigh of relief among states that have been fighting for E15 access for years. However, the celebration was tempered because in the true form of the Biden EPA, they are okaying it for the beginning of the 2025 summer driving season. Not the 2024 season, which is still three months away.

This again has left biofuels supporters questioning why they are implementing another delay on a decision that was almost two years late in being made. This has again drawn the ire of those they were trying to placate with the announcement.

The Iowa delegation has been fighting for year-round E15 for a few years now, and they are not happy with the decision that was announced. Because of this, Third District Iowa Congressman Zach Nunn has led the delegation in penning a letter to the EPA and the Administration to make the appropriate changes and begin implementing the decision in 2024.

Congressman Nunn told IARN this morning that American farmers and consumers have waited long enough for these changes. The availability of cheaper options, like E15, gives consumers an option at the pump, and these options are essential when they are facing higher costs for everything from fuel to food. Nunn says the Biden Administration’s economic policies have the American people in this predicament and that the delay just adds to these issues.

The letter says that this decision just shows that the Biden Administration is putting farmers last on their list of priorities.

The text of the letter is as follows:

“To Administrator Regan: 

While we were encouraged to see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalize its rule approving year-round sales of E15 fuel blends on February 22, 2024, we remain concerned that delaying implementation until 2025 will have devastating effects on biofuels producers, farmers, and families across the country. 

“In April of 2022, eight Midwestern governors, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, submitted a letter urging the Biden Administration to allow year-round sales of E15. Under current law, the EPA is required to act upon this request within 90 days. Yet, it was not until March 6, 2023, just days before biofuel producers were set to halt production, that a waiver for E15 sales was granted. 

“Now, over a year and a half after the statutory deadline, the EPA issued its final ruling to allow for the year-round sale of E15 in 2025, a year after the Biden Administration’s initial proposed implementation date of April 28, 2024. 

“Each day, farmers provide access to homegrown fuel that is good for the environment, good for America, and good for national security. Nearly every other row of corn in Iowa is used to create biofuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 50%. The biofuels industry supports 57,000 jobs in Iowa, reduces prices at the pump, and contributes $7.2 billion to Iowa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Further, ethanol reduced U.S. crude oil imports by 600 million barrels in 2022. 

“This delay in permanent, year-round E15 sales punishes American families and farmers who have already faced record inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices, and uncertainty in the market as a result of this Administration’s economic policies. The Administration’s continued delays in its decision-making and implementation date put the hardworking farmers who feed and fuel this nation last.

“As the Congressional delegation for the nation’s top ethanol-producing state, we request, once again, that the EPA immediately implement its rule to ensure E15 is available year-round no later than March 31, 2024. 

“Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your swift implementation of year-round E15 sales.”