HOUSTON (ICIS)-- Four members of the US House of Representatives introduced a coronavirus relief package that includes aid for the biofuels industry.
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act) includes a Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program wherein the US Department of Agriculture is authorised to provide 45 cents/gal of qualifying ethanol produced from 1 January through 1 May 2020.
Ethanol producers that shut down their plants for one or more calendar months during this time would also qualify for the credit, based on half of the volume produced in the corresponding time period of 2019.
“Prices are at record lows, and producers are unable to make ends meet”, the lawmakers said. “These dire statistics translate into devastating economic impacts throughout the economy, as rural job losses mount in our districts, agricultural commodity prices fall precipitously, hurting farmers, and shortages of biofuel co-products impact food security. The health of the agriculture sector is directly tied to the health of the biofuel industry.”
Both the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy praised the move by lawmakers.
Ethanol is used as a gasoline blendstock, in pharmaceuticals, and in food and beverage applications, such as hand sanitizers and vodka.