Biofuels can help battle surging gas prices and emissions, BIO tells Biden

The Biden administration announced it is considering lifting summertime restrictions on the sales of E15 automotive fuel, to help alleviate the rapid clmb of gasoline prices that followed sanctions against Russia for attacking Ukraine, but more could be done to take advantage of the potential of biofuels, according to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Biden’s announcement comes after bipartisan members of the House Biofuel Caucus wrote the president, requesting a few “actions that would prioritize homegrown and renewable biofuels,” Reuters reported. E15 contains 15% ethanol, which is more than the typical blend of 10% ethanol that is sold in the United States, and sales of both are regulated by the EPA.

While allowing greater use of E15 is a positive step, additional support for biofuels is necessary, according to BIO. To “ensure policy and regulatory requirements keep up with the technology” further actions could include “enacting a tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can help keep aviation fuel costs in check, too,” BIO said.

Furthermore, BIO wrote in comments to EPA on Friday, “EPA must update regulatory requirements for greenhouse gas emissions analysis to reflect the newest science and technology. Relying on a single, stagnant version of a model jeopardizes the integrity of EPA processes and long-term decision making.”

BIO maintains that EPA’s modeling for greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels is out of date, as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said in a hearing last year. She highlighted a recent Harvard study that found certain corn-based biofuels emit 46% fewer greenhouse gases than traditional fossil-based fuels. She and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) introduced legislation designed to correct this problem.

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