Columnists

USDA Has Provided $700M to Restore Sustainable Fuel Markets Hit by Pandemic

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department has provided $700 million to help lower costs and support biofuel producers who faced unexpected market losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are being made available through the Biofuel Producer Program, which was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The investments include more than $486 million for 62 producers located in socially vulnerable communities.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to rebuilding the rural economy after the impacts of the pandemic,” Vilsack said. “That’s why USDA is targeting resources and investments to improve the strength and resiliency of America’s sustainable fuel markets. The investments we’re announcing today will pave the way to economic recovery for America’s biofuel producers, stimulate a critical market for U.S. farmers and ranchers, and support our nation’s transition to a clean-energy economy.

USDA is making payments to 195 biofuel production facilities to support the maintenance and viability of a significant market for agricultural producers of products such as corn, soybean or biomass that supply biofuel production. These biofuel producers experienced unexpected market losses on a combined 3.7 billion gallons as a result of COVID–19.

For example:

In Iowa, Southwest Renewable Energy LLC is receiving a payment of $3 million. It suffered a market loss on 14.3 million gallons of ethanol due to the pandemic.

In Illinois, Adkins Energy is receiving a $774,000 payment. Its biomass-based diesel production suffered a market loss on almost 3.5 million gallons due to the pandemic.

In Texas, White Energy Holding Company is receiving a $21 million payment for production at two facilities. Its ethanol production suffered a market loss on 98 million gallons due to the pandemic.

The investments USDA is making today will support biofuel producers in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.