Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos introduced the Next Generation Fuels Act in the U.S. House on Sept. 24. The legislation leverages greater fuel octane to reduce carbon emissions from transportation, improve air quality and increase biofuel demand.
Fuels with greater levels of octane are more stable and have the potential to make engines more fuel-efficient. This legislation establishes a minimum octane standard for gasoline and requires sources of the added octane value to reduce carbon emissions by at least 30% compared to baseline gasoline. Furthermore, the legislation limits the use of harmful aromatics in meeting this new higher octane standard, as well as in current-market gasoline.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act looks toward the future to make sure we bring an environmental lens to biofuels production, in order to increase demand while reducing carbon emissions," said Bustos, a Democrat.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act builds on the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard in advancing corn growers’ commitment to providing the lowest cost, most efficient, and environmentally friendly fuel available,” said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross.
Specifically, the Next Generation Fuels Act would establish a certification test fuel with a research octane number of 98, along with a requirement that the source of the octane boost reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 30% compared to a 2018 baseline.
The legislation also includes a restriction on the aromatics content of gasoline, ensures parity in the regulation of gasoline volatility (Reid vapor pressure), corrects the “R-factor” used in fuel economy testing, provides for an E30 fuel waiver, replaces EPA’s MOVES model, and restores meaningful credit toward compliance with fuel economy (CAFE) and emissions standards for the production of flex fuel vehicles (FFVs).
Nick Colglazier, Colorado Corn executive director, said, “The introduction of the Next Generation Fuels Act continues to move ethanol forward. This transition to higher octane fuel will grow future demand for corn, improve the air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency."
“The introduction of the Next Generation Fuels Act is welcome news not only for corn farmers but also for consumers,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Carl Jardon. “Ethanol blends in the range of E25 allow drivers to travel further with fewer fill-ups and fewer harmful emissions due to providing an efficient and cost-effective higher octane level."
“There has never been a more urgent need to adopt higher octane, low-carbon ethanol blends in America’s fuel supply, as they are key to achieving clean, healthy air,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act of 2020 provides a bold and innovative approach to reducing carbon emissions, improving engine efficiency and performance, protecting human health, and removing the arcane regulatory roadblocks that have hindered the expansion of cleaner, greener liquid fuels,” said Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “By establishing the roadmap for an orderly transition to high-octane, low-carbon fuels, this landmark legislation begins an exciting new era in transportation fuels policy. As the world’s top supplier of clean, affordable, low-carbon octane, the U.S. ethanol industry proudly and enthusiastically supports this legislation.”