Iowa Lawmakers Promote Biofuels for Energy Security

Cindy Zimmerman

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy plant

As gas prices soar, Iowa’s bipartisan congressional delegation this week magnified the voices of ethanol supporters telling the Biden administration to unleash the power of higher ethanol blends in strengthening American energy security and lowering record-high pump prices.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined Reps. Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Ashley Hinson (IA-01) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan to prioritize American energy independence by using more American-made ethanol and other biofuels.

“According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Russia ranks as the world’s third-largest producer of petroleum and other liquid fuels, producing an average of 10.5 million barrels per day in 2020. The United States and our allies across the globe are now looking to decrease our reliance on Russian oil. As conflict continues in the region, we urge the Biden administration to expand the production and potential export of domestic ethanol and biodiesel to meet global energy needs,” the lawmakers wrote.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper says ethanol was selling for $1 per gallon less than gasoline in wholesale markets this week. “U.S. biorefineries have the spare capacity to entirely replace the volume of gasoline produced from Russian petroleum imports; the industry stands ready to help, just as it did during the onset of the pandemic by supplying critical and essential products to the marketplace.”

During his Tuesday morning call with reporters, Sen. Grassley questioned why the administration is turning to foreign sources of oil during this trying time instead of taking advantage of our own clean sources of fuel. “Instead of going to Venezuela, OPEC and Russia with these corrupt dictators, President Biden ought to look to the Midwest and think about how ethanol and biodiesel can fill these voids,” said Grassley. “These producers in the Midwest can make up the difference in production that we need.”

Sen. Grassley comments 3-8-22 (1:49)

biofuels, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News