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Grassley helps close loophole blocking biofuels producers from COVID aid

Longtime U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley had an instrumental role in closing a loophole that prevented biofuels producers from qualifying for COVID relief funds.

The Iowa Republican tells Brownfield he helped craft language in the latest coronavirus relief package that makes it clear some of the money can be used to support ethanol plants.

“What we were running into with other money, both March money (from the CARES Act) and what we’ve talked about since then, trying to get (Ag Secretary) Perdue to say that some of it would be given ethanol (is) he never told us no. But he was having a hard time saying that legislatively he had the authority to do that.”

In the omnibus bill recently signed by President Trump, Grassley says that has been remedied.

“But it isn’t going to be automatic that some of the money does go to ethanol, it’s something that we’re going to have to lobby I presume the new Secretary of Agriculture (Tom) Vilsack to do.”

Grassley says he’s confident Vilsack will be open to helping the biofuels sector and considers him to be “very ethanol friendly.”

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