Axne secures $1 billion for biofuel infrastructure in draft bill

By Office of Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa | September 08, 2021

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, announced that she had secured $1 billion for biofuels infrastructure in the House’s initial draft of the Build Back Better Act to support expanded availability and use of renewable fuels.

“This is a great day for our rural communities, our agricultural economy, our planet, and for hundreds of thousands of Americans whose jobs will be supported by the investments I’ve helped secure in the Build Back Better Act,” Axne said. “Make no mistake, this was no easy fight. For months, I have been helping members of the administration, the Senate, and my own colleagues in the House understand the key advantages of biofuels – from the fact that it’s been proven to be more than twice as clean as fossil fuels to how much it can help the economies of states like Iowa. But I wouldn’t let up, because it was clear from other infrastructure negotiations that this was not as much of a priority for others in Washington.

“While I will still withhold my final decision on this package until I see the full bill, seeing these investments included will be a critical part of my choice,” Axne added.

This week, House committees are beginning to consider their sections of the Build Back Better Act, a comprehensive legislative package that will tackle a range of issues from infrastructure to health care, education, and climate.

Included in the initial draft of the bill is $1 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide grants over the next 8 years to expand biofuel pump infrastructure, upgrade existing tanks and pumps, and increase usage of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.

That investment is double the amount originally proposed by Axne in her Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which she introduced in March.

Axne has reiterated the value that renewable fuels will have in the fight against a warming planet and a changing climate in discussions with her colleagues to secure this funding.

“The proof of a changing climate is more apparent each and every day. From devastating floods and hurricanes to droughts, derechos, and wildfires, our world’s foremost climate experts are sounding the alarm that if we do not take an all-hands-on-deck approach to lowering emissions, climate disasters will only get more frequent and more powerful,” Axne said. “If we’re going to drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels quickly, we can’t just rely on energy technologies that are still years away from being available in our rural areas. That’s where renewable fuels come in. Biofuels have been shown to be over 50% cleaner than fossil fuels and has the potential to be net-zero carbon emissions with continued innovation. With the right infrastructure investments, we can quickly expand the availability of this low carbon fuel across the U.S. To fight climate change, we can’t just keep arguing over what one policy is best to cut emissions. We need to use every tool in our toolbelt – both renewables and electric – to meet the challenge we’re facing.”

Background:

Rep. Axne has emphasized both in public and private for months that biofuels investments are a key priority for her in any infrastructure agenda.

In April, Axne urged relevant House committee chairs to include biofuels investments in infrastructure discussions.

Since that letter, Axne has met with dozens of House colleagues – including the committee chairs charged with agriculture, tax, and climate policies – to make the case for biofuels.

Last week, Axne again laid out the reasons to invest in biofuels to her House and Senate colleagues – penning an open letter with her Midwestern colleagues to emphasize how renewable fuels would help reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.