For months, I’ve called on the Biden Administration to make E-15 available this summer and year -round. It’s a cheaper, cleaner alternative to regular gasoline that can ease the pain at the pump for Iowans during this unprecedented energy crisis. Finally, after much delay, President Biden authorized an extension for E-15 sales this summer during his recent trip to Iowa, providing some relief to Iowa families, farmers, and our rural communities.
While this announcement is a positive step forward, it will not solve the greater energy crisis Iowans and Americans are facing every day. Over the last several months, gas prices have smashed record highs and the average price of gas in Iowa is approaching $4. On my 39 County Tour, I hear from Iowans that these price hikes – coupled with record inflation – are crushing their family budgets and draining their wallets.
Instead of imposing his liberal Green New Deal agenda on Iowa, President Biden needs to introduce a comprehensive plan to lower energy costs for American families and support Iowa’s farmers and producers who power our thriving biofuels industry. Along with other pro-American energy initiatives, Iowa ethanol and biodiesel must both be key components of any solution to reduce gas prices for Iowans and end our reliance on Russian oil.
Unfortunately, just like every other crisis this administration has created, President Biden has failed to lead. His recent $5.8 trillion budget proposes $1.5 trillion in tax increases on families and small businesses without mentioning homegrown biofuels even once. This is not leadership.
Iowans cannot afford to wait for the president to do his job, so I have taken matters into my own hands. To tackle the energy crisis head-on, I have introduced – along with my colleagues senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst – bipartisan legislation to utilize Iowa’s biofuels to lower fuel prices and make America energy independent again. The Home Front Energy Independence Act makes E-15 available year-round, formally bans Russian oil imports, establishes an E-15 tax credit, and extends the tax credit for biodiesel. It also requires the EPA to clarify its E-15 labeling rule for producers so that they can make and sell higher-blend biofuels and E-15 all year long.
I also led a letter with the entire Iowa congressional delegation to encourage the Biden Administration to bolster biofuels production in Iowa and build the Keystone XL pipeline. The biofuels industry and the Keystone pipeline alone support more than 120,000 good-paying jobs and roughly $4.4 billion in wages and household income in Iowa and across the Midwest.
These are the commonsense steps that we need to take to ease the pain at the pump for Iowans, secure our energy independence, and end our reliance on foreign oil and gas. Regrettably, President Biden and the Democrats are prioritizing radical climate policies at the expense of our energy independence and affordable gas prices. If liberals in Congress choose this path, inflation and gas prices will only continue to soar.
As your voice in Congress, I will continue to work with my colleagues to deliver real results for Iowa, make America energy independent again, and lower gas prices for Iowans. Now, it’s time for this administration to end its war on homegrown American energy so that Iowa ethanol and biodiesel can fuel our country and the world.
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, represents Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes Webster County and all of its surrounding counties.
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