Bipartisan bill would replace banned Russian oil with biofuel

gas pump

Much of the Russian oil that America has decided to forgo would be replaced with biofuels under the Home Front Energy Independence Act, unveiled last week by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

The bill is aimed at increasing production and availability of biofuels, in particular E15, to help make up for the reduction in fossil fuels that the United States is experiencing now that Russian imports have been banned.

President Biden on March 8 signed an executive order banning all imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States in a move intended to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop his attack on Ukraine.

“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 Klobuchar.

Greater E15 availability, tax credits

The Home Front Energy Independence Act, in particular, will:

  • Provide availability of E15 all year round.
  • Introduce an E15 tax credit and increase the biodiesel tax credit.
  • Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to complete their E15 labeling rule.
  • Make provision for biofuel infrastructure and retailer compatibility.

The bipartisan bill also puts limitations on U.S. oil purchases from Russia until the president certifies that Russia acknowledges Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Domestically, the capacity of excess ethanol is approximately equal to the amount of Russian gas imported by the US: around 83 million barrels vs 87 million barrels, according to Sen. Ernst.

Other senators also stood in support of this bill.

“It’s very clear that biofuels provide a quick and easy solution for lowering prices at the pump,” Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said, “It’s clean energy solution that can immediately lower gas prices and bolster American energy independence.”

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