Axne Continues Push for Biofuels in Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement, Emphasizing Clean Energy Potential

June 25, 2021
Press Release
Axne: “I will have strong reservations about supporting…if there is not also a pathway that will support” biofuels

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) sent a letter to the bipartisan leadership of both chambers of Congress to emphasize her interest in seeing investments in biofuels infrastructure included in the bipartisan agreement reached by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators yesterday.

In her letter, Axne reiterated her previous position that biofuels is a bipartisan priority that has immediate potential as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supporting American jobs.

“Investments in biofuels infrastructure represents the best of all worlds as we chart a path to an energy economy that allows us to reduce carbon emissions, be less reliant on foreign energy sources, and still support our rural communities and farmers,” wrote Rep. Axne.Biofuels have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least half for ethanol and upwards of eighty percent for biodiesel, all while supporting rural and agricultural communities… And as the initial details of this agreement indicate an interest in reducing emissions within our transportation and transit sectors, additional investments in biofuels should be included in order to see wider use of clean fuel and greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our transportation sector.”

While Rep. Axne expressed appreciation for the progress made in reaching a bipartisan deal, she noted that she will have reservations about supporting a deal that does not provide a pathway for new investments in the biofuels sector.

“As Congress works to develop the final language on this bipartisan agreement, I will have strong reservations about supporting the legislation that reaches the House if there is not also a pathway that will support this commonsense and bipartisan priority,” wrote Axne.

The letter was sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Earlier this year, Rep. Axne wrote to House leadership emphasizing her commitment to seeing biofuels investments included in Congress’ infrastructure agenda.

The full text of her letter can be found below:

Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,

While I am pleased to see that progress has been made towards a bipartisan agreement on much-needed investments in infrastructure, I am disappointed that the current framework still lacks investments in one of our greatest homegrown clean energy sources: biofuels. Investments in biofuels infrastructure represents the best of all worlds as we are charting a path to an energy economy that allows us to reduce carbon emissions, be less reliant on foreign energy sources, and still support our rural communities and farmers.

Biofuels have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least half for ethanol and upwards of eighty percent for biodiesel, all while supporting rural and agricultural communities. In fact, the Department of Agriculture anticipates reduction of up to seventy percent for ethanol as soon as next year with additional investments and innovation.

Biofuels have played a critical role in decarbonizing our nation and have significant potential for future reductions. And as the initial details of this agreement indicate an interest in reducing emissions within our transportation sector, additional investments in biofuels should be included in order to see wider use of clean fuel and greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in transportation.

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to many of my colleagues here in Congress about the immediate impact that biofuels could have in the fight to lower carbon emissions.

I’ve also heard directly from Iowa’s farmers and biofuels producers, those seeing the effects of a changing climate firsthand, who want to be part of the 21st century energy economy and who will create thousands of American jobs with new investments in production and distribution infrastructure.

In fact, a 2019 study found that the ethanol industry alone supported nearly 350,000 jobs while contributing over $40 billion to our economy. Even a fraction of that invested through infrastructure legislation would deliver massive benefits across our country, including continued innovation that will keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of clean energy technologies.

As Congress works to develop the final language on this bipartisan agreement, I will have strong reservations about supporting infrastructure legislation that reaches the House if there is not also a pathway that will support this commonsense and bipartisan priority. Growing the use and production of clean biofuels across the U.S. should be a goal of this infrastructure agreement, and I look forward to continuing to work with you and our colleagues to make the case for those investments.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your work in addressing our nation’s infrastructure needs.

Sincerely,

Cindy Axne

Member of Congress