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Feenstra, Iowa Members Urge President Biden to Uphold Promise to Support Biofuels

Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) joined Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Reps. Ashley Hinson (IA-01) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to uphold his promise to support biofuels.

As the letter states, Biden previously pledged to “promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America.” However, the Administration’s proposed infrastructure bill would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly mentioning the biofuel industry. The members point out that Biden has thus far fallen short on his promise.

“It is our hope that your Administration will come to the table to support the proven solution that biofuels provide to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector as quickly as possible,” the members wrote. “The Administration should support flex-fuel vehicles and cost-effective infrastructure improvements that will pave the way to higher biofuel blends.”

The members also urged Biden to recognize the ability for biofuels to be a permanent clean energy solution as developments in farming practices and in carbon capture technology are moving biofuels closer to becoming net carbon negative.

“Biofuels provide an immediate solution to help decarbonize our transportation sector while supporting rural America and providing a low carbon, cost effective choice to consumers,” the members continued. “Biofuels should not be treated as a transition fuel, but prioritized as a fuel of the future.”

The full text of the letter can be found below:

As your Administration and Congress continue to discuss infrastructure investments, we write in strong support of including biofuels in any final legislative proposal. Biofuels are a proven climate solution that can provide a cost-effective way to lower greenhouse gas emissions while providing good jobs for rural America.

While campaigning in our state, we heard you promise to “Promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers.” Yet, while unveiling your American Jobs Plan, you failed to include any investments in biofuels which play a vital role in our nation’s transportation sector.

Today’s biofuels provide a low carbon fuel and advancements in crop production, carbon capture technologies, and innovative production processes will only further drive down the carbon emissions of biofuels. In fact, advancements in biofuels can drive biofuels towards being carbon neutral or even carbon negative – something electric vehicles cannot achieve. If provided a level playing field from the government, biofuels can and will compete in the low carbon transportation marketplace.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) by 2050, 81% of new vehicle sales will still be gas powered or flex-fuel.1 Just this past year, electric cars made up 2.2% of the U.S. auto market. While it is likely our country will continue to produce more electric vehicles, it is clear that American consumers are not sold on them.

Instead, your plan focuses on subsidizing expensive electric vehicles to the tune of $174 billion. Your plan includes the installation of electric vehicle chargers, calls for the electrification of the federal vehicle fleet, and provides tax incentives and consumer rebates for the wealthy to purchase electric vehicles. Consumers who purchase Teslas which make up more than 70% of the electric car market have average incomes at more than $300,000.2

It is our hope that your Administration will come to the table to support the proven solution that biofuels provide to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector as quickly as possible. The Administration should support flex-fuel vehicles and cost-effective infrastructure improvements that will pave the way to higher biofuel blends. Additionally, the Administration should demonstrate a strong commitment to biofuels through a strong renewable volume obligation for 2021, 2022, and beyond. We should ensure that where needed biofuel pumps and storage tanks can be updated. The Administration should also work towards incentivizing new biofuel technologies and use accurate greenhouse gas modeling that takes into consideration the latest farming and production practices to calculate emissions from biofuels.

You made a promise to Iowans that you would support biofuels, yet the American Jobs Plan falls well short for our state. Biofuels provide an immediate solution to help decarbonize our transportation sector while supporting rural America and providing a low carbon, cost effective choice to consumers. Biofuels should not be treated as a transition fuel, but prioritized as a fuel of the future.

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