American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) issued a statement regarding this week’s announcement from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack of more details about the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
In March, the USDA unveiled the initiative which dedicates $6 billion in unspent pandemic relief for a variety of producers, including renewable fuels. Of the $6 billion in available funds, $700 million is designated for biofuel producers, and is planned for implementation within 60 days.
Following the announcement, ACE CEO Brian Jennings said in a statement that he’s happy to have some funding directed toward biofuels, he’s worried too much of it will go to large corporate interests and not to small farmers and ethanol producers.
“While we sought a higher level of funding to offset the damage done to ethanol producers from the unprecedented global pandemic, we appreciate that USDA is going to make some funds available yet this summer,” Jennings said. “The fact that the aid won’t address the full impacts and need reinforces our belief that USDA should not allow a disproportionate amount of funds to go to large conglomerates at the expense of farmer-owned and smaller ethanol producers.”
Jennings pointed out that ACE has engaged USDA on ways to ensure equitable treatment for farmer-owned and small ethanol producers. He said the organization looks forward to the specifics on how USDA intends to distribute funds.