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USDA Announces $700 Million in COVID-Relief for Biofuels Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following urging from U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $700 million in aid for biofuels producers who were hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“USDA is doing the right thing by ensuring farmers and ethanol producers can receive this aid. I worked to include biofuels in the December 2020 COVID-relief package and urged the agency to follow through in making this assistance available quickly. Today’s announcement is positive news that will benefit rural America and Nebraska’s economy,” said Senator Fischer.

According to USDA, implementation of this aid is planned to take place within 60 days.

Earlier this year, Senator Fischer joined Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the agency to provide direct payments to biofuels producers. This assistance was made possible through the December 2020 COVID-relief bill.

Senator Fischer has long advocated to provide certainty for farmers and biofuels producers. She is the lead Republican sponsor of the RFS Integrity Act of 2021. This bill would require small refineries to petition for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) hardship exemptions by June 1st of each year. This change would ensure that EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) it sets each November.

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