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Bipartisan Bill Helps Expand Biofuels Market

Bill authorizes $500M over five years to help retailers offer higher ethanol blends

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Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) announced the introduction of the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020. The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Roger Marshall (R-KS), would provide funding for installing and converting fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.

The bill authorizes $500 million over five years to help retailers offer higher ethanol blends, expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends, support biodiesel, bioheat, and sustainable aviation fuel markets, and accelerate the deployment of fueling infrastructure. Given recent uncertainties in the renewable fuels industry, it is more important than ever to fund infrastructure improvements and remove market barriers to accessing clean and renewable fuels.

"The time is now to further diversify our fuel supply and move more biofuels into the market," Finkenauer says. "Biofuels offer a proven path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonizing the transportation sector, driving economic growth and creating jobs. I'm grateful to have bipartisan support from Representatives Bacon, Craig and Marshall. Cleaner fuels are good for our economy and our environment, and we’re going to keep fighting for them."

In addition to supporting the distribution of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends at fueling stations, the program could also be used to enhance pipelines and terminals to blend and carry ethanol and biodiesel. Funding from the clean fuels grant program could be used to incentivize the deployment of ethanol and biodiesel fueling infrastructure and convert existing infrastructure to deliver ethanol blends greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends greater than 20 percent.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomed the introduction of the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020, legislation.

“The National Corn Growers Association appreciates the leadership of Reps. Finkenauer, Craig, Marshall and Bacon to help grow the market for higher blends of ethanol,” says NCGA President Kevin Ross, an Iowa farmer. “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.”

The legislation will work alongside the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to accelerate growth and open new economic opportunities for American farmers and biofuel producers. A vital market for corn farmers, ethanol producers have idled nearly half of their production capacity due to the fallout from COVID-19. Spurring new demand for higher ethanol blends will be an important part of an economic recovery for the ethanol industry and farmers, and this infrastructure deployment will help support that growth.

“The Clean Fuels Deployment Act that will expand long-term economic opportunities for farmers and biofuels producers,” said Kelly Nieuwenhuis farmer from Primghar, IA, and chair of Iowa Corn’s Industrial Usage committee. “Additionally, this bill will allow consumers to have greater access to homegrown, cleaner-burning fuels.”

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