The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, led by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, for sending a letter to Senate and House leadership urging them to make sure emergency relief for the renewable fuels industry is included in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.
In their letter, the governors express support for two recently introduced legislative proposals that would provide crucial relief and assistance to renewable fuel producers hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19. Specifically, the governors encourage House and Senate leadership to support inclusion of the Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act of 2020 (introduced last week by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Amy Klobuchar) or the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program provision in the House-passed HEROES Act. “These initiatives provide responsible and much needed economic relief to the states’ biofuel producers,” the governors write. “These proposals will allow important agricultural processing facilities to retain their employees, resume production when warranted by market and health conditions, and support farmers by increasing commodity demand.”
“We appreciate the efforts of Govs. Noem and Walz on behalf of an industry that helps fuel the rural economy in South Dakota, Minnesota, and other states across the nation,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “These governors have seen first-hand how important ethanol and other renewable fuels are to their states, and they have witnessed the devastating impact the pandemic has had on ethanol plants and the communities they serve. We agree with the governors on the vital importance of ensuring Congress acts quickly to provide assistance to these businesses and the 350,000 men and women whose jobs are supported by the ethanol industry.” Currently, Cooper noted, fewer than 70 of 204 ethanol plants in the country are operating at full capacity, with nearly 60 facilities fully idled and capacity utilization at less than 60 percent.