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NewsPolitics & Government

Feenstra, Craig, Bustos, and Hinson Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Biofuels Availability and Lower Fuel Prices

U.S. Representatives Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Ashley Hinson (R-IA) introduced the Home Front Energy Independence Act, which would expand the production and availability of American biofuels. In an effort to lower energy costs for working families and support economic growth in rural communities, Feenstra and Craig introduced the legislation following the overwhelming vote in the House to ban imports of Russian energy products nearly two weeks ago.

Specifically, the Home Front Energy Independence Act would:

  • Make E15 available year-round
  • Establish an E15 Tax Credit and Extend the Tax Credit for Biodiesel
  • Direct the EPA to finalize their E15 labeling rule
  • Provide for biofuel infrastructure and compatibility with retailers

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced companion legislation in the Senate last week.

“Iowans are paying the highest prices for gas in more than a decade, and there is no indication that the cost of fuel will decrease any time soon,” said Rep. Feenstra. “Fortunately, higher blend biofuels and E15 can lower fuel prices and end our reliance on foreign energy, but we can only achieve these goals by making E-15 available year-round. I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan legislation with my House colleagues to do just that and thank Senator Ernst and Senator Klobuchar for introducing this bill in the Senate. By cutting red tape and unleashing American energy production, we can lower gas prices, bolster biofuels production, and make our country energy independent once again.”

“E15 and higher blend biofuels can serve as a cheaper alternative for working families while helping to expand markets for family farmers, support economic growth in rural America and cut down on dangerous pollutants released into the air we breathe,” said Rep. Craig. “Especially as we work to lessen our dependence on foreign energy producers and hold Russia accountable for its unjustified invasion of Ukraine, our bipartisan legislation to prioritize home-grown domestic biofuels should be taken up without delay.”

“The solution to the current energy affordability crisis that is squeezing working families across the country shouldn’t come from Russia, Iran, or Venezuela—it has to come from America,” said Rep. Hinson. “The bipartisan Homefront Energy Independence Act will finally unleash the abundant domestic energy resources that we’ve been sitting on, including Iowa biofuels and allow the sale of E-15 year-round. This bipartisan solution will lower costs at the pump, bolster our fuel supply, and improve our national security.”

“Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has brought to light the importance of energy independence and the value of domestic energy production here in the United States. With the cost of this war hitting Americans at the gas pump, it’s time to bolster our fuel supply with home-grown biofuels,” said Rep. Bustos. “Not only would this cut gas prices for consumers, but it would also reduce emissions and support our family farmers. I’m proud to join my colleagues on the bipartisan, bicameral Homefront Energy Independence Act to make E-15 available year-round.”

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 Home Front Energy Independence Act is supported by Clean Fuels Alliance America, Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association, and the Renewable Fuels Association.

“The more than 65,000 U.S. workers in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry stand ready to meet the nation’s need for cleaner, better transportation fuels,” said Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs at Clean Fuels Alliance America. “Over the past two years, biodiesel and renewable diesel producers worked hard to maintain fuel supplies and provide value to consumers. Clean Fuels and its members applaud the strong, bipartisan action that Representatives Craig, Feenstra, Bustos and Hinson are proposing to boost America’s energy independence.”

“We have an opportunity to lower prices at the pump today for American drivers by increasing access to E15 fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “As gas prices across the country hit historic highs, higher blends like E15 have been selling for, in some instances, more than 50 cents cheaper per gallon. The Home Front Energy Independence Act would increase access to these cost savings across the country and all year long.”

“Corn farmers appreciate the leadership of Representatives Craig, Feenstra, Bustos and Hinson, calling for expanded use of biofuels to lower fuel costs and improve our energy security,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Blending more ethanol is an immediate step to help lower fuel prices, and ensure drivers continue to have access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15. Renewable ethanol adds billions of gallons to our fuel supply every year, lowering demand for high-cost oil while increasing total fuel available to consumers.”

“The fastest way to put a lid on record-high gas prices is to empower greater use of low-cost renewable fuels, and that’s exactly what this bill would do. This commonsense legislation would bring immediate economic relief to American families who are experiencing unprecedented pain at the pump, while simultaneously reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and tailpipe pollutants linked to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses,” said Jared Mullendore, Director of Government Affairs at the Renewable Fuels Association. “Not only would the bill eliminate dependence on Russian oil imports, but it would also ensure that those imports are replaced by more affordable renewable fuels produced right here in America’s heartland. We applaud these House members for offering this smart solution.”

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