Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer has introduced legislation to fund the installation and conversion of fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
The bill, the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020, authorizes $500 million be spent over five years to:
- help retailers offer higher ethanol blends,
- expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends,
- support biodiesel, bioheat and sustainable aviation markets, and
- accelerate the deployment of fueling infrastructure.
"The time is now to further diversify our fuel supply and move more biofuels into the market," Finkenauer said. "Biofuels offer a proven path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonizing the transportation sector, driving economic growth and creating jobs. Cleaner fuels are good for our economy and our environment, and we’re going to keep fighting for them."
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minnesota; Don Bacon, R-Nebraska, and Roger Marshall, R-Kansas.
"At a time when fuel demand is down nationwide and farmers and biofuel producers are hurting, it is more important than ever that drivers have access to higher blends of biofuels at the pump," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
"The greatest remaining barriers to widespread biodiesel adoption are at the terminal and pipeline terminal level," said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Soybean Association director of market development. "We support incentivizing terminals and taking other steps to help increase the market penetration of this greenhouse gas-reducing fuel."
"Expanding infrastructure for higher blends will help to increase future demand for farmers and ensure biofuels will continue to be included in federal efforts to provide consumers with cleaner, affordable fuels," said Kevin Ross, Iowa farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association.
"As we emerge from the COVID-19 downturn, this legislation offers a roadmap for the next wave of growth that will revitalize rural communities and expand cleaner, more affordable options at the pump for millions of American motorists," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. "We urge House and Senate leaders to embrace this opportunity to support low-carbon biofuels and propel higher blends into the next decade.”
“The renewable fuels industry is facing the worst crisis in its history today as a result of COVID-19, and producers across the nation are in need of immediate emergency relief to survive this catastrophe," said Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. "Once the pandemic is behind us and economic recovery is well underway, expanding infrastructure for higher biofuel blends will be critical to the long-term future of the renewable fuels industry and rural America."
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