Sen. Joni Ernst pushes bipartisan effort to make Biden E15 fuel waiver permanent

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 5:09 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTTC) – Efforts to make E15 ethanol gas available year-round continue as President Joe Biden recently signed an emergency waiver allowing the fuel to be sold during the summer.

Under the Clean Air Act, E15, which is made up of 15 percent ethanol, usually can’t be sold during the summer because it could create smog in warm weather.

This emergency waiver now allows the gas to be sold and is expected to drive down prices and increase supply. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst (R) has been spearheading bipartisan legislation to make E15 available all year round. She’s joined by senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minnesota) and Tina Smith (DFL-Minnesota) in this effort. Ernst said this also helps farmers, especially the corn growers in Iowa.

“Iowa is the number one producing state for ethanol,” Ernst said. “And of course, 40 percent of our corn goes to feedstock for our ethanol. And then, whatever is left over, we turn it into ethanal goes to livestock production. There is no waste at all when it comes to producing ethanol.”

Ernst said the reason why some oppose the waiver and legislation is because they want to get rid of fossil fuels all together.

“It’s good that he [Biden] did this, but we actually prefer that we see this year-round,” Ernst said. “On a permanent basis. So we, don’t have to use those emergency waivers anymore. That’s something Senator Grassley, Klobuchar have worked on for a really long time.”