Amid rising gas prices across the nation, the Biden Administration’s actions when it comes to biofuel use, or perhaps inaction according to some critics, are sending mixed messages to an already skeptical ag community. Tuesday’s announcement that the U.S. would join five other nations in releasing inventories from their strategic reserves was intended to ease worries about rising prices. However, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley notes that the 50 million barrels making their way into the supply chain amounts to just three days’ worth of gasoline.
Grassley says he expects the move will do little to bring down gas prices, citing increased restrictions on fracking and drilling on federal lands in Alaska. The senator is also critical of a lack of action by the EPA to comply with the statutory deadline of November 30th to release required volume obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard. He warns of further damage to the ethanol industry, following the agency’s move to delay blending requirements not just for the coming year, but also the last two.
While the EPA continues to delay setting blending targets, President Biden’s massive social spending measure making its way to the Senate includes funding for grants to fund fuel pump and terminal upgrades. In a letter sent to ag committee leaders Monday, biofuel backers including the Renewable Fuels Association and National Corn Growers Association thanked the chairs for their efforts to allocate close to one billion dollars in funding for expanding biofuel infrastructure.