In a letter sent to House Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) before a hearing on gas prices, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) underscored the gas price benefits of increased ethanol production and use and urged action on key issues related to the industry.

“While the issue of gas prices is complicated, there are concrete and immediate actions that Congress could take to help reduce America’s exposure to volatile world oil markets and the subsequent spikes in gasoline price we are witnessing today,” wrote RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen and AEC Executive Director Brooke Coleman.

Specifically, Dinneen and Coleman urged Congress to maintain the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), extend critical expiring tax cuts for cellulosic ethanol production, and invest in alternative fuel infrastructure such as blender pumps and flex fuel vehicles to utilize higher level ethanol blends by passing the Open Fuel Standard introduced in the House by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Rep. Elliott Engel (D-N.Y.).

“The economics today are quite clear.  Currently, a gallon of ethanol is selling for approximately $1 less than a conventional gallon of gasoline.  At the standard E10 ethanol blend, that is an immediate savings of $0.10 per gallon for American motorists.  With increased ethanol blending, like levels up to E15, the savings would be even greater,” Dinneen and Coleman explained.  In an Issue Brief sent yesterday, the RFA outlined the gas price benefits of ethanol today.  That brief is available here.

Dinneen and Coleman continued, “By their very nature, markets fluctuate and respond to basic supply and demand dynamics.  What is true today may change six months from now.  The only way to avoid this continuous rollercoaster of oil and gasoline prices is to provide Americans with a real choice at the pump.  Maintaining critical policies like the RFS, extending key tax policies for new fuel commercialization, investing in renewable fuel infrastructure, and passing innovative polices like the OFS are actions that Congress can take this year to provide Americans choice in the fuel they use and help mitigate the damage wrought by the vagaries of oil and gasoline markets.”

The entire letter is available here.