Ethanol leader asks Congress for economic help in next COVID-19 relief package
The CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol wants Congress to help the biofuels industry in the next COVID-19 economic relief package. Brian Jennings says, “Despite the fact, Congress has taken action on three previous phases of stimulus relief, the renewable fuel sector has been left behind.”
Jennings says ignoring the impact on the biofuels industry is unacceptable as producers saw severe economic fallout, especially during March and April… all on top of demand destruction done by trade wars and small refinery exemptions for blending ethanol into gasoline. “The damage has been done and we won’t recover to really pre-COVID levels for a year or more.”
Jennings says he is encouraged because the HEROES Act already passed by the House has relief for the biofuels industry, and now Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have introduced similar biofuels relief. “We have bipartisan, bicameral support, something we didn’t appear to have in the first three phases, so we feel good about that.”
Jennings says the House version would provide direct payments to producers based on gallons produced over a certain period of time, and the Grassley-Klobuchar Senate version would reimburse producers for a portion of the feedstocks purchased. “We don’t’ need to pick favorites over those two versions. We just want something in the final bill, so that’s what we’re pushing for.”
Jennings urges farmers to contact their lawmakers and ask them to include biofuel producer relief in the next coronavirus relief package, and to get it done before the summer recess in two weeks.