Iowa senators call on Biden to unleash American biofuel as US bans Russian oil, prices surge
As gas prices hit all-time record highs, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, are calling on President Joe Biden to unleash Iowa biofuels immediately by supporting their bipartisan plan to replace banned Russian oil with clean-burning, American-made renewable fuels that are available right now. The senators’ new bill—the Home Front Energy Independence Act—puts the ban on Russian oil into law. At the same time, it couples that ban with opening up biofuel production that’s grown in Iowa and across America’s heartland. The current excess ethanol capacity domestically is nearly the same as the amount of Russian gas the U.S. had been importing: roughly 83 million barrels versus 87 million barrels.
“When traveling around Iowa, you see E15 being sold for 30 to 40 cents cheaper than E10—and ethanol has been selling at around a $1.20 discount to base gasoline,” Grassley said. “Homegrown Iowa biofuels provide a quick and clean solution for lowering prices at the pump, and bolstering production would help us become energy independent once again. Iowa producers stand ready to meet the moment and ramp up production to lower gas prices for families across the country.”
Ernst added, “As gas prices hit record highs for Americans across the country, it’s never been clearer that energy security is national security. Banning Russian oil was long overdue, but it’s far past time for President Biden to make good on the promises he made on the campaign trail to Iowa farmers and producers to support our state’s biofuel that is American-made, ready, and available to meet our nation’s needs right away.”
Click here to view Grassley and Ernst’s remarks on their new legislation.
“The uncertainty of the situation in Ukraine underscores the need for more homegrown biofuels to displace the oil we import from Russia, reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and improving our energy security,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “This bill by Sens. Ernst, Klobuchar, and Grassley if enacted would provide relief for the rising gas prices families are paying at the pump. We urge the passage of this legislation to invest in a more energy independent nation through increasing the use of and access to higher biofuel blends today and the years ahead.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, is the lead Democratic sponsor, while Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, and Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, are also cosponsoring the bill.
Specifically, the Home Front Energy Independence Act combines parts of several of Grassley’s and Ernst’s past bills that would make E15 available year-round, establish an E15 and biodiesel tax credit, direct U.S. EPA to finalize its E15 labeling rule and provide for biofuel infrastructure and compatibility with retailers. This includes elements of the Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act of 2021, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act and the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021.