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As U.S. Bans Russian Oil, Bipartisan Effort Calls for Expansion of American Biofuels

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Gas prices

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

As gas prices hit all-time record highs last March, 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 immediately in order to replace Russian oil with clean, American-made renewable fuels.

The senators’ new bill—the Home Front Energy Independence Act—proposes a ban on Russian oil and immediate investment in the use of biofuel that’s grown in the American heartland.

Biofuels are liquid fuels produced from biomass materials called feedstocks that can be used for heating, electricity, and transportation. The American midwest produces biofuel in excess. 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.

“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.



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