Durbin, Bipartisan Colleagues Call on USDA to Assist Biofuels Industry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and seven Senate colleagues, today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the department to assist biofuel producers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been advocating for targeted relief for the biofuels industry since last spring when we were first made aware of the demand collapse for ethanol and other renewable fuels due to the COVID-19 pandemic….we worked to ensure specific language was included in December’s COVID relief bill that explicitly clarifies that USDA may provide direct payments to biofuels producers hard hit by the pandemic. Providing aid to the ethanol industry would provide much-needed financial assistance for these key agriculture processors and help keep these critical markets open to farmers,” the Senators wrote.

“We have been encouraged by your recent statements at your confirmation hearing that you will fully utilize USDA resources to get biofuel producers back on track and will aid the Biden Administration in restoring the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” the Senators concluded.

This letter is also signed by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN) Deb Fischer (R-NE), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Mike Braun (R-IN).

Full text of the letter can be found here