Brad Moffitt, director of market development and membership for Ohio Corn & Wheat, fills up a flex fuel vehicle with E85 at a pump in Galloway.

Next Generation Fuels Act provides key piece of the clean energy solution

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomed the reintroduction of The Next Generation Fuels Act (H.R. 5089), legislation to transition gasoline and vehicles to low-carbon, higher octane fuel to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and meet future needs of more advanced vehicles by taking advantage of the benefits of higher ethanol blends. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill).

“Ethanol is uniquely positioned to immediately and affordably decarbonize transportation, including through paving the way to future vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions,” said John Linder, NCGA president. “The Renewable Fuel Standard was a game-changer for corn farmers, and the Next Generation Fuels Act builds on that success in advancing our commitment to providing the cleanest, most efficient and lowest cost energy solution.”

The bill would require that automakers phase in higher levels of clean, low-carbon octane by model year 2031. The higher the octane, the more efficiently the engine uses energy. As a clean octane standard, the bill requires that sources of additional octane result in at least 40% fewer GHG emissions than unblended gasoline and sets new limits on toxic hydrocarbon aromatics. These requirements will reduce GHG and tailpipe emissions to build on the progress already made to lower emissions with cleaner renewable fuels. Through advanced engine design features that take advantage of this new fuel, automakers will be able to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency.

“Today’s ethanol results in nearly 50% fewer GHG emissions than gasoline, and ongoing improvements in farming practices and carbon capture technology can bring ethanol to net-zero emissions,” said Linder. “Corn growers support market-based clean fuel policies that incentivize low-carbon fuels, and the Next Generation Fuels Act would complement these policies, advancing greater decarbonization per gallon.” 

Corn ethanol is an effective, low-carbon octane source, providing the greatest fuel efficiency gains at the least cost to drivers while displacing the most toxic components of gasoline. Higher octane levels and vehicles designed and warranted for these fuels would support ethanol blends up to 30%, which would decrease GHG emissions and improve air quality by replacing harmful hydrocarbon aromatics.

NCGA expressed appreciation for the members of Congress who joined Rep. Bustos as original co-sponsors of the bill, including Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), James Comer (R-Ky.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) and Cynthia Axne (D-Iowa).

“Congresswoman Bustos has been a real champion for the benefits of low-carbon ethanol and for agriculture,” Linder said. “NCGA is thankful for the Congresswoman’s leadership in advancing renewable fuels by reintroducing this legislation. Corn growers look forward to working with her to build support for clean energy policies that take greater advantage of ethanol’s benefits.”

More information on the benefits of low-carbon, high-octane fuels and NCGA’s support for a low-carbon octane standard can be found at ncga.com/octane.

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