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Democratic Lawmakers Call On Biden Administration to Halt Plan to Cut Biofuel Blending Volumes

Reuters writers Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw reported this week that, “A group of U.S. Democratic lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to halt a plan to slash the amount of biofuels that oil refiners must blend into their fuel, according to a letter dated Monday.

“The move, which the lawmakers argue threatens Biden’s pledge to protect the U.S. farm economy, follows a Reuters report last week that Biden’s administration is considering big cuts to the nation’s biofuel blending requirements.

“While no official announcement has been made, news of the plan sparked uproar among farming and biofuel advocates, who benefit from the requirements that have helped create a multi-billion gallon market for their products.”

McConnell, Michael, Olga Liefert, and Angelica Williams, Feed Outlook, FDS-21h, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August 16, 2021.

The Reuters article stated that, “Lawmakers including Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Representative Cheri Bustos from Illinois said in the letter that they have strong reservations about the administration’s potential moves to cut billions of gallons of biofuel volumes out of the requirements for the years 2020 to 2022.

‘This action would directly undermine your commitment to address climate change and restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),’ the letter read.

Also this week, DTN writer Todd Neeley reported that, “In the letter led by Reps. Cindy Axne, Iowa, Cheri Bustos, Illinois; Angie Craig, Minnesota; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, the bicameral group of congressional members from seven states said they were concerned about the reports.

“‘We have strong reservations about the potential for the administration to destroy over 5 billion gallons of biofuel volume from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 RVOs,’ the letter said.”

Mr. Neeley added that, “The industry’s anticipation of the release hit a fever pitch last week when several energy-pricing services released proposed ethanol volume numbers purporting to show steep RFS cuts.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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