Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) introduced H.R. 5090, the Biofuel Cell Research Act. This bill directs the Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a research, development, and demonstration program for a commercially viable fuel cell system that uses biofuels as the main fuel source. Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and appropriate stakeholders, the Energy Secretary would establish research and development goals that will result in the demonstration of the fuel cell system.
The study and demonstration would stem from recent advancements in fuel cell technology, in which ethanol is used as the primary fuel source to generate electricity. This electricity is then used to power vehicle engines, resulting in a net zero carbon emission power source.
The proposal was referred to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, where Feenstra serves on the Subcommittee on Energy.
“I am eager to explore ways we can advance fuel cell systems to expand the use of biofuels. Electric vehicles still rely on baseload power generation, a process that requires nonrenewable resources. My Biofuel Cell Research Act would bring us one step closer to developing liquid fuel vehicle engines that rely primarily on clean-burning biofuels, in turn helping farmers and biofuel producers,” said Rep. Feenstra. “The biofuels industry is a key driver of economic growth in Iowa, and it provides consumers with a cleaner and more affordable option at the pump. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill on the president’s desk.”
Feenstra has introduced and sponsored a number of proposals to support Iowa farmers and biofuel producers, including the bipartisan Small Refinery Exemption and Clarification Act of 2021, which he introduced in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on small refinery exemptions (SREs). After a D.C. circuit court ruled against E15 year-round, Feenstra also helped introduce the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act of 2021.
As a member of the Republican task force on Energy, Climate, and Conservation, Feenstra has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s failure to include biofuels in infrastructure legislation. In May, he pressed Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm on the administration’s commitment to ethanol and biodiesel after Biden previously promised to “promote and advance” biofuels.