The House of Representatives passed another COVID economic relief package last week which provides for $2.2 trillion in coronavirus relief and includes an important provision to help renewable fuel producers impacted by the pandemic. The package includes the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program provision which, if passed into law, would provide a 45-cent-per-gallon payment for qualified fuel produced by eligible producers from Jan. 1 through May 1 of this year.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the legislation represents a “potential lifeline for the 350,000 men and women whose jobs depend on a healthy and vibrant ethanol industry.”
“Just recently, a study by university economists found that ethanol producers will experience roughly $8 billion in losses this year due to the pandemic’s impact on world fuel markets,” said Cooper. “While market conditions have improved since the spring, the ethanol industry is still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic, and ethanol producers across the country remain under financial stress.”
The package is considered dead on arrival in the Republican controlled Senate, which is on break now until Oct. 19 after three Republican senators tested positive for COVID-19. The revised Heroes bill is independent of ongoing negotiations on a different package between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which would result in a new bill that would need to be separately drafted and voted on in both houses.