Energy & Environment

Here are the 12 lawmakers who broke with their parties on ethanol fuels bill

The U.S. Capitol is seen form the South Capitol St. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
Greg Nash
The U.S. Capitol is seen form the South Capitol St. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

The House passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to increase the availability of higher-ethanol fuel blends in hopes of tackling the rising cost of fuel.

The legislation, dubbed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, passed in a largely party-line vote, 221-204. One Democrat and three Republicans did not vote.

The bill, which includes several agriculture provisions meant to take aim at the cost of food and supply chain snafus, would dismiss summertime constraints on the selling of a 15 percent ethanol fuel blend and allocate $200 million to widen biofuel infrastructure and equipment, among other measures.

Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Randy Feenstra (Iowa), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), Ashley Hinson (Iowa), Dusty Johnson (S.D.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) and Don Bacon (Neb.) broke with the GOP to support the bill.

On the other side of the aisle, Democratic Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Peter Welch (Vt.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Henry Cueller (Texas) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) bucked their party to oppose the measure.

Miller-Meeks wrote in a statement on Thursday that she supported the bill because it provides year-round availability of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, also known as E15. She referenced rising inflation and elevated gas prices in the U.S. as factors behind her decision.

“Iowa farmers, consumers, and businesses have been hurting for too long, and the Administration has done little to support them. They are seeing record-high inflation, astronomical gas prices, and rising input costs that threaten to shut down multi-generational family farms across Iowa,” Miller-Meeks said.

“The majority of Iowa’s energy comes from renewables, including biofuels, wind, and solar power. I have consistently argued in favor of making E15 available year-round to support American energy independence, and I was proud to support legislation to do just that,” she added.

In a statement, Hinson also pointed to the expanded sale of E15 fuel as reason why she supported the measure.

“House passage of my bipartisan PRECISE Act, as well as bipartisan legislation I championed to allow the sale of E-15 blended fuel year round, build out biofuels infrastructure, and shore up our domestic food supply chain is a hard-fought victory for Iowa producers,” Hinson said.

“Our farmers feed and fuel the world and I will never stop fighting, and delivering, for Iowa agriculture,” she added.

Johnson in a statement said the legislation “provides solutions to some of the problems America is facing,” including elevated prices at gas stations and grocery stores. Two of his major priorities were included in the package. 

“I’ve been fighting for year-round E15 since day one. E15 will unleash millions of gallons of fuel to the market and ease the pain at the pump that consumers are facing daily. Fair prices for producers and consumers will soften the burden of inflation,” he added. 

Updated at 7:10 p.m.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Ashley Hinson Ashley Hinson Don Bacon Dusty Johnson Dusty Johnson Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act Mariannette Miller-Meeks Mariannette Miller-Meeks Peter DeFazio Peter Welch Randy Feenstra Seth Moulton Vicente Gonzalez Vicky Hartzler

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