Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House of Representatives today would lower consumer gas prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enable greater engine efficiency, and encourage competition in the fuel market, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. RFA thanked original co-sponsors Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), and 16 others for introducing the legislation, known as the Next Generation Fuels Act, which would establish the nation’s first-ever high-octane, low-carbon fuel standard. A companion bill was reintroduced March 22 in the Senate.
Similar legislation was introduced last year in both chambers of Congress and secured numerous bipartisan co-sponsors, and a Morning Consult poll earlier this month found strong support for the bill’s provisions. Among poll respondents who had an opinion on the Next Generation Fuels Act, more than four out of five expressed support for the legislation. Among all poll respondents (including those with no opinion on the legislation), 64 percent supported the legislation and only 14 percent said they oppose it.
“We thank Reps. Miller-Meeks, Craig, LaHood and Budzinski for leading the charge and reintroducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the House,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Americans will continue to rely on liquid fuels and internal combustion engines for decades to come, and this legislation will ensure drivers have access to more efficient high-octane, low-carbon, lower-cost fuels for their vehicles well into the future. We look forward to working with clean fuel supporters in both chambers of Congress to turn this bold vision into a reality.”
Additional original co-sponsors include Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Zach Nunn (R-IA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Dan Kildee (D-MI), André Carson (D-IN), James Comer (R-KY), Mike Bost (R-IL), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mike Flood (R-NE), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Mary Miller (R-IL), Eric Sorensen (D-IL), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
In addition to saving drivers money with each fill-up, low-carbon liquid fuels like ethanol are an essential part of the strategy to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by mid-century, Cooper said, and RFA’s member companies have unanimously committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint for ethanol by 2050 or sooner.
Specifically, the Next Generation Fuels Act would establish high-octane (95 and 98 RON) certification test fuels containing 20-30 percent ethanol, while requiring automobile manufacturers to design and warrant their vehicles to allow these fuels beginning with model year 2026. The bill also includes a low-carbon requirement, specifying that the source of the octane boost must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 40 percent compared to a 2021 gasoline baseline, as measured by the Department of Energy’s GREET model.
The legislation also includes a restriction on the aromatics content of gasoline, ensures parity in the regulation of gasoline volatility (Reid vapor pressure), corrects key variables used in fuel economy testing and compliance, requires an update to the EPA’s MOVES model, ensures infrastructure compatibility, and addresses many other regulations impeding the deployment of higher octane blends at the retail level.