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Growth Energy to NHTSA: Biofuels Must Be Part of CAFE Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In comments yesterday to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Growth Energy, the nation’s largest biofuels trade association, urged regulators to include a role for American-made biofuels in the Agency’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for Passenger Cars and Light Trucks for Model Years 2027-2032 and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans for Model Years 2030-2035.

Growth Energy highlighted just some of the proven emissions benefits of biofuels like ethanol in its comment, while also noting that NHTSA’s proposed standards may violate the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), in particular the law’s prohibition on using electric vehicles (EVs) as a “baseline” to set fuel-economy standards and the law’s focus on using domestic energy sources to address America’s energy challenges.

“In setting the CAFE Standards, NHTSA is directed by EPCA to consider, among other factors, ‘the need of the United States to conserve energy.’ Increasing the nation’s use of biofuels meets that goal, by both providing another source of fuel that reduces our demand for petroleum and by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions,” said Growth Energy in its comments. “To begin with, ethanol and other biofuels significantly enhance energy security because of their flexibility—they can be used in existing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and fueled at existing gas stations.  Consumers and operators of fleets around the country therefore have the ability to use more biofuels.”

To address its issues with the proposal, Growth Energy recommends that NHTSA remove EVs from its calculations in setting a baseline for the 2027-2032 CAFE standards; consider the GHG-reduction and energy security benefits of biofuels throughout the final rule; and preserve and expand its rules to allow for greater use of higher ethanol-blended fuels like E15 (15% ethanol), E85 (51%-85% ethanol), and other blends in between.

Read Growth Energy’s full comment here. The organization also expressed similar concerns to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about its vehicle tailpipe emissions standards earlier this year. Learn more about Growth Energy’s actions on this topic at

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