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As U.S. Bans Russian Oil, Ernst, Klobuchar Call for Expansion of American Biofuels

New bipartisan legislation opens up the use of clean, American-made renewable fuels that are available right now to replace banned Russian oil.

WASHINGTON—As gas prices hit all-time record highs, and with the U.S. banning Russian oil, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are calling for American biofuel to be unleashed under their bipartisan plan to replace Russian oil with clean, American-made renewable fuels that are available right now.
The senators’ new bill—the Home Front Energy Independence Act—puts into law a ban on Russian oil and couples that with opening up the use and production of biofuel that’s grown in the American heartland. Specifically, the new legislation combines parts of several of the senators’ past bills that would make E15 available year round, establish an E15 and Biodiesel Tax Credit, direct EPA to finalize their E15 labeling rule, and provide for biofuel infrastructure and compatibility with retailers. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) are cosponsoring the bill.
“As gas prices hit record highs for Americans across the country, it’s never been clearer that energy security is national security,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Banning Russian oil was long overdue, but it’s far past time for President Biden to make good on the promises he made on the campaign trail to Iowa farmers and producers to support our state’s biofuel that is American-made, ready, and available to meet our nation’s needs right away.”
“This legislation will help hold Putin accountable for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine while investing in affordable, readily-available biofuels produced in the U.S. I have long pushed for pro-biofuel policies because they are good for drivers, farmers, and the environment. It’s time for Congress to take action by passing this bill immediately,” said Senator Klobuchar.
The Home Front Energy Independence Act combines elements of several of the senators’ previous bills aimed at supporting and incentivizing the use of Iowa’s biofuel, including the Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act of 2021, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, the Low Carbon Biofuel Credit Act, and the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021. It would also put into law full restrictions on U.S. purchases of Russian oil until the president determines Russia recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The current excess ethanol capacity domestically is nearly the same as the amount of Russian gas the U.S. had been importing: roughly 83 million barrels versus 87 million barrels.