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Thune pushes for ethanol gasoline on military bases

John Thune talks with advocates in Sioux Falls
Krystal Schoenbauer
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., recently introduced a bill that will make the sale of E15 fuel mandatory for gas stations on military bases.

The bill, which Thune worked on with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., will require the more than 180 gas stations located on Army and Air Force bases in the U.S. to sell E15 fuel. E15 is gasoline that has been blended with up to 15% ethanol. It is typically cheaper than unblended gas.

Thune said he wants servicemembers to have access to cheap fuel regardless of where they’re stationed.

“As gas prices hit record-highs, E15 fuel is a cost-effective and clean alternative at the pump,” Thune said in a press release. “This bill would ensure that military bases across the country provide it as an option for servicemen and women and their families.”

This bill is the latest in a series of legislation aimed to reduce gas prices from Thune, Duckworth and other senators.

In March, a bipartisan group of senators convinced President Joe Biden to allow E15 to be sold year-round. The fuel is typically discontinued during the summer.

These decisions are also intended to decrease the United States’ reliance on foreign fuel. Duckworth said that the military base bill will help ensure national stability.

“Reducing our nation’s reliance on foreign oil and depending more on homegrown biofuels can bolster our national security,” Duckworth said. “By encouraging the sale of E15 at on-base military commissary and exchange stores, the Armed Forces Fuel Choice Act will underscore that energy security is an important part of our national security.”

If the fuel bill passes, the gas stations affected by the decision will have until the start of 2024 to start selling E15. Gas stations that require more construction to be able to sell the fuel will have an extra year.