WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growth Energy applauded the inclusion of long-awaited assistance for the struggling biofuels industry in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), a new COVID-19 relief package that passed the U.S. House of Representatives today.
“The economic onslaught sparked by COVID-19 has taken a terrible toll on rural families, who face an uncertain future even as they work tirelessly to ensure an uninterrupted harvest of essential food, fiber, and biofuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “The provision providing assistance to biofuels in the HEROES Act represents a welcome signal that lawmakers understand the urgent need to rebuild the strength of America’s agricultural supply chain after half the U.S. biofuel industry was forced offline.
“We are grateful to House leaders who have fought to ensure biofuel workers and rural communities are not left behind in this process, and we urge Congress to also provide relief for furloughed workers, farmers, and their families in future legislation to address COVID-19.”
Specifically, this provision would authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide $0.45 per gallon of ethanol produced from January 1 through May 1, 2020. Producers forced offline for one or more calendar months during this time would qualify for the same credit, based on half the volume produced during the corresponding month or months in 2019. The aid reflects appeals submitted by Growth Energy and other farm and biofuel leaders, as well as calls from bipartisan champions in the House and Senate, Midwest governors, and 70 mayors across 10 states. Just this week, a coalition led by Representatives Cindy Axne (IA-03), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), and Angie Craig (MN-02) reminded House and Senate leaders, “The health of the agriculture sector is directly tied to the health of the biofuel industry.”