Paul, Grassley Introduce Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2019

U.S. Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2019 (S.581), legislation that would remove burdensome regulations on domestic energy production.

“The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act provides new economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers by allowing fuel producers and automobile manufacturers to innovate and bring new products to market that will lower costs for consumers, increase domestic energy production, and protect the environment,” Paul said. “If we want to ensure a strong future for Kentucky agriculture and the industry across the rest of the country, we must get burdensome government regulations out of the way and allow consumer choice and competition to spur economic growth and innovation.”

“The EPA has long imposed regulatory burdens that have prevented innovation in the fuel market and limited options for consumers across the country who would like to purchase alternative fuels like biofuels from Iowa,” Grassley said. “Allowing more consumer choice at the pump fits in well with President Trump’s deregulatory agenda. This bill would level the playing field by removing the EPA’s impediments to market competition and provide more access to cleaner, domestic renewable fuels.”

Government intervention in the energy sector impacts everything from fuel sales to how fuels are taxed, inevitably driving up costs and holding back new technologies. As a result, Washington has unnecessarily limited consumer choice and constrained the wider availability of new fuel options.

The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act would further remove regulatory burdens that are blocking higher ethanol blends, such as E15, from entering the marketplace, and would also allow Americans to convert their vehicle to run on different fuels without jumping through expensive and unnecessary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hoops. Furthermore, it would reform fuel economy rules that are hampering clean technology innovation in the auto industry.

Senators Paul and Grassley previously introduced a version of this legislation in 2015.

 

BACKGROUND:

The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act removes overly burdensome EPA certifications on aftermarket vehicle conversions.

  • Fleet turnover rates for American light-duty vehicles have varied widely over the years. Removing EPA regulations that unnecessarily increase the cost of aftermarket vehicle conversions will allow for accelerated market integration of vehicles that are capable of running on alternative fuels and increase incentives for investments in refueling infrastructure.
  • The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act removes the EPA certification requirements, while ensuring the conversion does not degrade emission performance.

The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act reforms EPA’s Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements by allowing higher blend levels of ethanol to exceed the current 9.0 psi standard, and it prevents the EPA from regulating biomass fuel.

  • RVP is a measure of how quickly fuel evaporates into the atmosphere. EPA regulates RVP in conjunction with ozone emissions in the summer months. Congress previously directed EPA to issue a “one pound waiver” for ethanol blends of 10%, allowing E10 to be sold at 10.0 psi.
  • Last year President Trump signed an executive order directing EPA to look into the possibility of allowing year-round sales of E15. This bill extends the Congressional waiver to higher blends of ethanol, including E15.