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Biofuels groups praise ethanol provisions in HEROES Act

-The Hagstrom Report

Biofuels groups on Tuesday praised the inclusion of the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program in the HEROES Act unveiled by House Democrats.

The provision would authorize the Agriculture Department to provide 45 cents per gallon of ethanol produced from Jan. 1 through May 1, 2020. Producers forced offline for one or more calendar months during this time would qualify for the same credit, based on half the volume produced during the corresponding month or months in 2019.

The Renewable Fuels Association thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; and Democratic Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne of Iowa; and Angie Craig of Minnesota, who led a letter to House leadership yesterday, warning that a struggling biofuel industry could have cascading effects on the entire agriculture sector. RFA noted that the letter was signed by Peterson and Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack of Iowa, Mark Pocan and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Kendra Horn of Oklahoma.

“The Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program represents a potential lifeline for the 350,000 men and women whose jobs depend on a healthy and vibrant ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We greatly appreciate the efforts and leadership of Chairman Peterson, Congresswoman Bustos, and so many other renewable fuel supporters in the House. They understand that rural communities across the nation depend on the renewable fuels industry for job creation, economic vitality, and new market opportunities for farmers. They know we cannot afford to leave behind such a vital sector of the economy, and we thank them for standing up for low-carbon, homegrown renewable fuels. This program would lend a crucial helping hand and ensure that ethanol producers are able to participate in the economic recovery from COVID-19.”

“RFA is urging swift passage of the HEROES Act and looks forward to the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program becoming law,” Cooper said.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “The HEROES Act offers a sorely needed beacon of hope for biofuel workers, our farm partners, and thousands of rural communities struggling to stay afloat.”

American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings said, “This is the first time Congress has introduced a stimulus bill that would provide aid directly to biofuel producers, and for that we are extremely appreciative. ACE members are grateful for this show of support from the members of Congress who stepped up this week to call on congressional leadership to include emergency assistance for ethanol producers suffering the economic fallout of COVID-19, as well as all the members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who have been working on financial aid. It’s important that securing aid for the biofuel sector continues to be a bipartisan goal. This is one important step in the process, but until a bill is signed into law by the president that contains direct aid, we need to stay in constant contact with members of Congress.”


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