• Ron Kotrba

Bipartisan bill introduced in US Senate to build out America’s biofuel infrastructure

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, in introducing The Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act of 2021, a bill that directs the USDA to establish a grant program to support the deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure.

The bill would authorize the USDA Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Grant Program to help accelerate the deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure. Under the program, eligible entities may use the funds to:

  • Distribute to private or public entities for costs related to incentivizing deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure

  • Convert existing pump infrastructure to deliver ethanol blends greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends greater than 20 percent

  • Install fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, including E15 and E85, and higher biodiesel blends up to B100 at fueling locations

“This bipartisan effort will help advance the deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure and provide consumers across Iowa and the country with greater access to cleaner, more affordable choices at the pump,” said Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Committee on the Environment and Public Works.

"Diversifying our fuel supply and introducing higher blends of biofuels in the market are great steps forward as we work to promote clean energy technologies and invest in transportation infrastructure,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation will make cleaner fuels more accessible—ultimately benefiting both the economy and the environment.”

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said, “Investing in renewable fuel infrastructure is a smart move at a critical time, and we commend Sen. Ernst for her leadership. As the nation embraces new technologies and fuels, biodiesel should remain front and center in the transportation conversation because it stands out as a low-carbon intensity fuel for diesel technology. This infrastructure proposal would ensure biodiesel producers can stay on the cutting-edge of clean fuel technology while supporting jobs, rural communities and economic development.”

Ernst has been pushing to expand biofuel infrastructure and uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. Following President Biden’s executive action to begin transitioning federal government vehicles to electric vehicles, Ernst urged him to change course by instead promoting the adoption of higher biofuel blends and investing in expanding biofuel infrastructure.

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