Senators Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and John Thune. R-S.D., led a bi-partisan group of Senators this week in sending a letter to President Bush urging him to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to approve higher blends of ethanol up to 30%.
"The current 10% standard, or blend wall, will soon impact production capacity and could be very harmful to the ethanol industry across the country," said Thune. "By increasing the percentage of ethanol in gasoline, we can reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy and make renewable fuels a key component of our nation's energy policy."
The letter requests the approval in a timely manner following all required scientifically-based testing, and in conjunction and coordination with other relevant federal agencies and private sector industries.
"With consideration of a new farm bill as well as a new energy bill well underway, ethanol and renewable fuels are at the forefront of the discussion. While we’ve seen a tremendous jump in knowledge, promotion and usage of renewable fuels, there remain very real barriers," Grassley said. "In the absence of widespread E85 use at this time, it’s important to ensure a market for today’s ethanol production."
The letter to President Bush follows recent letters from Grassley to Southern state governors asking for removal of state regulations that hamper the blending and use of ethanol.