Mar 9, 2022
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Home Front Energy Independence Act to expand the availability and production of American biofuel, following President Biden’s ban on importing Russian oil.
“This legislation will help hold Putin accountable for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine while investing in affordable, readily-available biofuels produced in the U.S. I have long pushed for pro-biofuel policies because they are good for drivers, farmers, and the environment. It’s time for Congress to take action by passing this bill immediately,” said Klobuchar.
Specifically, the Home Front Energy Independence Act will:
- Make E15 available year round
- Establish an E15 Tax Credit and Extend the Tax Credit for Biodiesel
- Direct EPA to finalize their E15 labeling rule
- Provide for biofuel infrastructure and compatibility with retailers.
The bipartisan legislation will also codify into law full restrictions on U.S. purchases of Russian oil until the president determines Russia recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The current excess ethanol capacity domestically is nearly the same as the amount of Russian gas the U.S. had been importing: roughly 83 million barrels versus 87 million barrels.
The bill combines elements from the following pieces of bipartisan legislation that Klobuchar leads:
- Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which permits the year-round sale of E15.
- Low Carbon and Biofuel Credit Act, which creates a tax credit for selling and/or blending E15.
- Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which expands the availability of low-carbon renewable fuels by providing grants for the installation of biofuel infrastructure.
In addition to Klobuchar and Ernst, the legislation was co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).
Klobuchar has been a strong advocate for investing in renewable fuel infrastructure and upholding the Clean Air Act’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
In February, she and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a bipartisan letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prioritize the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by maintaining the blending requirements for 2022; denying all pending Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs); eliminating proposed retroactive cuts to the renewable volume obligations (RVOs); and setting 2021 RFS volumes at the statutory levels.
Klobuchar and Grassley also introduced bipartisan legislation in December to provide certainty to biofuel producers by preventing the EPA from retroactively reducing RVO levels once finalized.
Last June, Klobuchar led a letter with 15 colleagues to the EPA and National Economic Council (NEC) expressing concern about reports that the Biden administration was considering options to exempt oil refiners from their obligations under the RFS.
Read the original press release here.