Congressional Biofuel Caucus Seeks Relief For Ethanol industry

  • Friday, 07 August 2020 10:42

The Congressional Biofuel Caucus, led by Minnesota's Rep. Collin Peterson, is asking Senate and House leaders to include aid for the ethanol industry in the next coronavirus relief package.

In a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Kevin McCarthy sent today, the caucus said ethanol producers "must be eligible for assistance in order to ramp up to pre-pandemic levels in order to mitigate the negative impacts that the industry has experienced as a result of the coronavirus."

They said demand for biofuels has declined more than 1.3 billion gallons since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, in turn, has led to reductions in production or plant shutdowns. 

"Biofuels production is a major piece of the rural economy in our districts, and we urge you to explicitly include much-needed assistance for the sector in the next piece of coronavirus relief legislation," they said.

Negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package have stalled and the proposals in the Senate so far have excluded specific aid to the ethanol industry.

Other signatories of the letter included Minnesota's Rep. Angie Craig, Rep. Tom Emmer and Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

"We support language that would provide direct assistance for the biofuels sector, including language explicitly directing the Secretary of Agriculture to provide direct assistance to producers and processors of renewable fuels.

"For example, language requiring the Secretary to provide a per-gallon payment to producers for renewable fuels produced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This mandate from Congress is necessary to ensure that the United States Department of Agriculture has the statutory authority they deem neccessary to provide aid to the biofuels sector, and to guarantee assistance for the farmers and plant workers," they said. 

Read the full letter here.