A joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for congressional support of the renewable fuels industry.
In part, the letter reads, "The situation we face is dire. More than 130 biofuel plants have already partially or fully shut down as motor fuel demand plunged to 50-year lows. America’s biofuel plants purchase annually more than one-third of U.S. corn and U.S. soybean oil, and the loss of those markets has depressed farm income and will continue to push corn and soybean prices down dramatically.
"The damage has rippled across the entire agricultural supply chain. Ethanol plants are the top supplier of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the food industry, and shutdowns have triggered commercial CO2 supply shortages, inhibiting the ability of our food and beverage sector to manufacture, preserve and supply food. Biodiesel plants provide critical demand for soybean oil, distillers corn oil, animal fats from livestock production, and recycled oils from restaurants. Reduced demand for these oil byproducts will result in higher prices for livestock feed and ultimately higher prices for consumers. And shortages of dried distiller grains (DDGs) – a high-protein animal feed produced by ethanol plants – are already impacting livestock rations and meat prices.
"Biofuel producers are doing what they can to support our public health response by repurposing ethanol and glycerin supplies to produce hand sanitizer. However, sanitizer markets are not nearly substantial enough to sustain our workforce and bridge the industry through the crisis."
The letter was signed by the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, the National Biodiesel Board, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Farmers Union, the National Oilseed Processors Association, the National Renderers Association, the National Sorghum Producers and Fuels America.