As U.S. Bans Russian Oil, Marshall Calls for Expansion of American Biofuels
New bipartisan legislation opens up the use of clean, American-made renewable fuels that are available right now to replace banned Russian oil.
(Washington, D.C., March 9, 2022) – As gas prices hit all-time record highs, and with the U.S. banning Russian oil, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. joined a bipartisan group of senators in calling for American biofuels – that are available right now – to be unleashed immediately.
“America should not be reliant on Russian oil, especially as the atrocities of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine rage on,” said Senator Marshall. “For someone who touts ‘Buy American’ President Biden needs to take his own advice and refocus on making America energy independent like we were under President Trump. The American biofuel’s industry stands ready to do their part and can do so immediately with the help of this legislation.
“As gas prices hit record highs for Americans across the country, it’s never been clearer that energy security is national security,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Banning Russian oil was long overdue, but it’s far past time for President Biden to make good on the promises he made on the campaign trail to Iowa farmers and producers to support our state’s biofuel that is American-made, ready, and available to meet our nation’s needs right away.”
“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 Senator Klobuchar.
In addition to unleashing American biofuels, Sen. Marshall’s plan to Unleash America’s Energy Independence is to:
- Immediately Restart the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- Remove burdensome regulations from America’s energy producers.
- Increase natural gas exports to European allies and other global partners.
- Give certainty to oil and gas producers that credit will remain available to them by maintaining the independence of the Federal Reserve and withdrawing the nomination of Sarah Raskin.
- Encourage FERC to reverse their decision to add new barriers to natural gas pipeline approvals.
- Directly instruct the Department of the Interior to allow new oil and gas leases on public lands.
The senators’ bill—the Home Front Energy Independence Act—puts into law a ban on Russian oil and couples that with opening up the use and production of biofuel that’s grown in the American heartland. Specifically, the new legislation combines parts of several of the senators’ past bills that would make E15 available year round, establish an E15 and Biodiesel Tax Credit, direct EPA to finalize their E15 labeling rule, and provide for biofuel infrastructure and compatibility with retailers. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Amy Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.) are leading the legislation while Senators Marshall (R-KS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) are cosponsoring the bill.
The Home Front Energy Independence Act combines elements of several of the senators’ previous bills aimed at supporting and incentivizing the use of Iowa’s biofuel, including the Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act of 2021, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, the Low Carbon Biofuel Credit Act, and the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021. It would also put into law full restrictions on U.S. purchases of Russian oil until the president determines Russia recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The current excess ethanol capacity domestically is nearly the same as the amount of Russian gas the U.S. had been importing: roughly 83 million barrels versus 87 million barrels.