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Ernst Calls for Answers from Biden Administration on Delay in Biofuel Assistance

In a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack, Ernst and her colleagues write, “It is past time our hardworking biofuel producers receive the critical aid that you promised.”

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of both the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) and Agriculture Committees, is leading seven of her Senate colleagues in calling for answers from the Biden Administration about the delay in financial assistance for Iowa’s biofuel industry in response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 In June 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $700 million in aid to biofuel producers as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. USDA’s press release indicated that this assistance would be implemented within 60 days. It has been over 120 days since this announcement and biofuel producers are still waiting.

 In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Ernst and her colleagues write, “We are concerned about the delay in financial assistance for our nation’s biofuel sector during the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 They continue, “As you know, we have been advocating for targeted relief for the biofuel industry since the onset of the pandemic and the demand collapse for ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels. On June 15, 2021, we welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement of $700 million in aid to biofuel producers as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. In your press release, you indicated that this assistance would be implemented within 60 days. It is simply unacceptable that it has been over 120 days since your announcement and biofuel producers are still waiting…It is past time our hardworking biofuel producers receive the critical aid that you promised.”

 

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