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Biofuels producers seek specific language in aid package

Ron Lamberty with the American Coalition for Ethanol

Biofuels groups are concerned about the lack of specifics in the coronavirus assistance proposal put forth by Senate Republicans.

That Senate proposal would provide 20 billion dollars to USDA with broad discretion on how to distribute those funds.  Although it mentions “processors” of ag commodities as one of the targeted groups, it does not specify biofuels.

Ron Lamberty with the American Coalition for Ethanol says they would like to see more specific language in the final bill.

“We had been told earlier that if we want money to go to ethanol plants, we should press for clear delineation in these bills that the money is for ethanol producers—for biofuel producers,” Lamberty says. “So people need to be very clear and very loud that that’s what they need. Because I think USDA, last time, didn’t read it the way that we read it.”

Lamberty says direct aid for biofuel producers is long overdue.

“What we’re looking for is something to basically keep these plants in operation and make sure that those jobs stay there, and that the market stays open for farmers until the rest of the country starts moving around a little bit more and maybe using as much fuel as before—or, who knows, maybe a little more than they were in the past.”

The House-passed stimulus package, the HEROES Act, includes a program that would provide a 45 cent per gallon payment for qualifying biofuels produced from January 1st through May 1st of this year.

Link to ACE news release

AUDIO: Ron Lamberty

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