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Grassley seeks answers from Biden admin on biofuel assistance delay

STOCK PHOTO -- Pictured: Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s calling for answers from the Biden administration on the delay in biofuel assistance.

On Monday, Grassley and several of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to explain the administration’s delay in delivering financial assistance to Iowa’s biofuel industry negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grassley addressed the issue during his Tuesday morning conference call with farm reporters.

“In June, the department of agriculture announced $700 million for biofuel producers being impacted by COVID disruptions,” said Grassley. “Four months later, there is still no money available.”

The announced $700 million in aid was part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. USDA’s press release indicated that this assistance would be implemented within 60 days, and Grassley says we are now more than 60 days past that deadline.

Another concern of Grassley’s is the administration’s delay in setting renewable volume obligations – or RVOs – for 2022.

“Again, we have a case of the missing RVOs,” said Grassley. “The Trump administration missed the deadline for 2021. That’s not Biden’s fault. That is Trump’s fault. Now we are nearing the deadline for next year’s numbers, so it’s on Biden’s shoulders. Still no word on when these RVO numbers are coming out.”

Grassley believes ethanol is a solution to the current issue regarding rising gas prices across the country.

“More ethanol means lower gas prices,” said Grassley, “fewer greenhouse gases, and of course domestic energy jobs. The White House needs to look to the Corn Belt, not OPEC or Big Oil, for answers.”

Full text of Grassley’s letter can be found here.