Today, President Biden released a plan to address higher fuel prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The President called on petroleum companies to ramp up oil production, encouraged Congress to make oil companies pay penalty fees for idle oil wells on leased public lands, and announced an unprecedented release of up to 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Biden also is authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act to support the extraction and processing of minerals and materials used for large-capacity batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese.
The following is a statement from Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper.
“Doubling down on petroleum dependence is not an economically or environmentally sustainable solution for lowering gas prices, and it completely undermines this administration’s ambitious climate objectives. It is baffling to us that President Biden continues to overlook ethanol, which is the most readily available, lowest-cost, and lowest-carbon option for extending our nation’s fuel supply. Rather than draining our strategic petroleum reserve and scolding U.S. oil producers for failing to increase production, we believe the administration should be empowering farmers and ethanol producers. They are eager to do their part to deliver economic relief and energy security for their fellow Americans. Today, ethanol is selling for $1 per gallon less than gasoline and we are sitting on record ethanol inventories and ample spare capacity; yet access to the marketplace continues to be limited by decades-old regulatory barriers that never made sense. Simple administrative actions could unleash the power of renewable fuels to immediately reduce pump prices without sacrificing the health of our environment. Yet, the strategic national asset that is our renewable fuels industry continues to be neglected by this administration. We urge President Biden to take action now to facilitate expanded production and use of low-carbon biofuels like ethanol.”