WASHINGTON D.C. (WCIA) — Members of congress have filed a proposal that would ramp up biofuel production and in turn, lower energy costs.
U.S. Reps Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) and Zach Nunn (R-IA) filed a bill to expand the program for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance program.
The bill aims to remove red tape for biofuel companies, which advocates argue makes it harder for producers to innovate and expand their manufacturing capacity. More types of fuel like ultra-low carbon bioethanol and zero-carbon bioethanol could be eligible for funding.
Under the proposal grants can also go to building new biorefineries or expanding existent ones. The bipartisan bill also increases funding for the grants and loans to $100 million over the next five years if passed.
Budzinski highlighted the innovation in biomanufacturing at University of Illinois, and said she’s proud of the agricultural research studied at the university.
“The University of Illinois is a national leader in biomanufacturing and is the proud home to the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Lab – where students and faculty drive world-class innovation every day,” Congresswoman Budzinski said. “By investing in our bioeconomy, we can spur innovation and expand markets for family farmers throughout the Heartland.”
The bill was also introduced in the Senate. The Corn Refiners Association, Plant Based Products Council, Ag Bioeconomy Coalition and the Ag Energy Coalition all are in support of the bill.