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After Months of Bipartisan Pressure Led by Ernst and Grassley, Biden Allows Access to E15 in Summer

The Iowa senators have been vocal champions of E15 year-round; say it could help ease the burden at the pump.

RED OAK, Iowa – After months of bipartisan pressure led by U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the president today will announce action to lift the ban on sales of E15 this summer.

“Since early last year, Senator Grassley and I have been pushing this administration to lift the ban on E15 by the summer driving season – and at long last, the president has relented. Home grown ethanol is a cleaner, cheaper choice for consumers, and Iowa’s biofuel producers are ready to meet the demand. This announcement is certainly welcome news for Iowans,” said Ernst.

“I’m glad President Biden is finally listening to what Senator Ernst and I have been saying for months. Biofuels consistently provide consumers with a more affordable fuel option, and Iowa producers stand ready to meet the moment and ramp up production to lower gas prices for all Americans. Unlike tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and begging OPEC for more dirty oil, this is a step toward energy independence, lower gas prices and cleaner air,” said Grassley.

More on Ernst’s longtime efforts to push the Biden administration on E15 year-round:

  • February 2021: Ernst introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) to finalize EPA’s proposed rule that would remove certain barriers to expanded sales of E15, including E15 fuel dispenser labeling. In addition, Ernst joined a letter to EPA officials urging them to finalize their proposed rule on E15 year-round.
  • May 2021: Ernst, Grassley, and members of the Iowa delegation urged Biden to uphold his campaign promise to support biofuel.
  • July 2021: Ernst supported bipartisan legislation to allow E15 year-round. Also in July, Ernst joined a bipartisan group of senators in requesting a meeting with President Biden to discuss biofuel, including E15 year-round.
  • December 2021: After the Biden administration took the unprecedented move to open the 2020 RVO rule, Ernst slammed Biden for failing to live up to his campaign promises on biofuel. Following this move, Ernst and Grassley introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit the EPA from reducing the minimum applicable volume of biofuels into transportation fuel once the RVO levels are finalized for any given year.
  • February 2022: Ernst stood up for biofuel at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, laying out the facts to show biofuel is a cleaner solution: “The latest research shows corn ethanol is 46% less carbon intensive than petroleum-based gasoline and biodiesel is 74% less carbon intensive than petroleum-based diesel.”
  • March 2022: Ernst led the bipartisan Home Front Energy Independence Act which puts into law a ban on Russian oil and opens up the use and production of biofuel. Specifically, the legislation combines parts of several of the senators’ past bills that would make E15 available year-round, among other things. Also in March, Ernst penned a column highlighting how biofuel can meet the needs of American consumers.
  • April 2022: At a Senate hearing, Ernst forced the hand of Biden EPA Administrator Regan on E15, but with gas prices at near-record highs and the summer driving season approaching, the EPA Administrator would not commit to allowing E15 this coming summer.