Iowa lawmakers to EPA: Biofuels can increase energy security

By Erin Voegele | March 08, 2022

Iowa’s congressional delegation is urging the Biden administration to expand the production and potential export of ethanol and biodiesel to meet global energy needs as the U.S. and its allies look to decrease reliance on Russian oil.

Reps. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa,; Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa; Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa,; and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, along with Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa., on March 8 sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan advocating for the increased use of 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.

“As a domestically produced, renewable fuel source, ethanol and other biofuels strengthen our national security and achieve the Administration’s climate goals. Bolstering our domestic energy production through policies that prioritize the increased use of America's ethanol and other biofuels will ensure a reliable and stable source of energy for years to come,” the lawmakers continued.

The Renewable Fuels Association has spoken out to thank the lawmakers for their efforts. “We applaud these six champions for once again working together in the interest of our country’s energy security and rural economy,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “Ethanol has reduced the cost of gasoline by an average of 22 cents per gallon, thanks to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and higher blends like E15 can do more. Just yesterday, ethanol was selling for $1 per gallon less than gasoline in wholesale markets. 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.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from Feenstra’s website