Biofuel’s uphill battle for more coronavirus relief

Biofuel producers are anxiously awaiting actions from Congress to bring more coronavirus relief.

The head of the Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, says that without another coronavirus stimulus package from Congress, getting help from USDA for the biofuels industry is an uphill climb. Cooper says that USDA Secretary Perdue has made his position clear on using unspent CCC money for pandemic-crippled biorefineries.

“Secretary Perdue has said pretty bluntly, ‘look unless Congress tells me to distribute some of these monies to biofuel producers, I’m probably not going to do that,’” Cooper states. “So, I think we’ve got quite an uphill challenge ahead of us.”

Something Cooper argues is hard to understand, given earlier CCC help for biofuels and the direct link between the demand for fuel ethanol and the price of corn.

“We believe that the USDA has all kinds of authority to provide assistance to ethanol producers using the CCC. In fact, there is precedent for them doing that,” he said. “There are many cases in the past where they have used the CCC to help processors or downstream distributors of not just farm commodities, but their derivative products.”

In the meantime, Cooper says that the window is closing on a comprehensive phase four virus relief bill, as lawmakers desert Washington for the convention, campaigns, and the November election.

Biofuel’s road to recovery.