In a remarkable 89-0 vote, the Ohio House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.B. 165 in late November. This bill will be a big win for Ohio’s grain producers. It aims to offer qualifying fuel retailers a 5-cent-per-gallon tax credit for sales of fuel containing between 15 and 85 percent ethanol—giving us a real opportunity to grow corn demand right here in the Buckeye state.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate, where the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) will continue championing its passage. We’re joined in that work by a broad coalition because the bill does more than grow corn demand—it’s a win for consumers, fuel retailers, clean air advocates and job creators alike. Here’s why the association supports this legislation:
H.B. 165 helps consumers today by saving them money. Higher blends of ethanol like Unleaded 88 save consumers anywhere from five to 10 cents per gallon at the pump. At a time when consumers need higher quality and more affordable options, Ohio’s corn growers can deliver an answer immediately.
The bill benefits consumers tomorrow by providing a clean air alternative available for 9 out of 10 passenger vehicles already on the road. Ethanol is one of the most sustainable solutions available to consumers at the pump. The Renewable Fuel Standard Program and implementing E10 nationwide has already contributed to a 40 million metric ton per year decrease in carbon emissions—the equivalent of removing more than 8 million cars from our roads every year. Incorporating E15 and higher ethanol blends provides additional reductions on top of these metrics. It doesn’t stop there. Every ounce of ethanol reduces harmful emissions by 46-52% compared to traditional petroleum fuels. When we incorporate higher blends of ethanol and let consumers make the choice, we’ll build on the proven record of American grown biofuels.
It builds long term demand for Ohio grown corn. Ethanol is already used in nearly 98% of the gasoline consumers purchase across Ohio. But as consumer preferences change, Ohio grown corn has an opportunity to deliver a sustainably-produced fuel that helps meet those consumers where they are and will be in the future. Investing in the infrastructure to deliver those critical fuels now will help us maintain vigorous markets later.
It’s not a mandate. H.B. 165 is all about choice. No fuel retailer will be required to sell E-15 or higher blends—but they have an opportunity to partner with the state to make it just a little bit easier to bring this new fuel to market. We remain confident that consumers will drive this market. H.B. 165 will help retailers meet that demand—without an undue burden on their business.
It’s no wonder why H.B. 165 passed unanimously. It’s a win-win for consumers, retailers, biofuels producers, farmers and clean air advocates alike. We have a way to provide cleaner air in urban, suburban and rural communities—all while saving money for Ohio’s families each and every time they go to the pump.
It’s smart policy, and that’s why we strongly support H.B. 165 and urge legislators in the Ohio Senate to pass it quickly.
But we’ll need your help to make that happen. Be sure to sign up for Ohio Corn & Wheat action alerts by texting “OCW” to 50457. It’s the fastest way to stay informed, and take action, when legislators need to hear from you.