HEROES Act would provide COVID-19 relief payments to producers

By Erin Voegele | May 12, 2020

A fourth COVID-19 stimulus package, the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act,” was introduced May 12 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill includes dedicated relief for biofuels producers by establishing the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program.

The program provides a 45 cent-per-gallon payment for qualified fuel produced by eligible producers from Jan. 1 through May 1, 2020.

Qualified fuel includes any renewable fuel or advanced biofuel that qualifies as biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard, including biodiesel and renewable diesel. Eligible entities are defined as any domestic entity or facility that produced any qualified fuel during calendar year 2019.

Eligible facilities that were unable to produce any qualified fuel throughout one or more calendar months from Jan. 1 through May 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic can receive payment equal to 45 cents multiplied by 50 percent of the number of gallons produced during the corresponding month or months of 2019.

The payments will be made by the USDA through the Commodity Credit Corp. The legislation also requires the USDA to submit a report to congress within 180 days on the payments made under the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program, including the identity of each payment recipient and the amount paid to the payment recipient.

Several biofuel organizations, including many ethanol associations whose producer members have been hit especially hard during this crisis, were thankful for the bill’s introduction.

Full legislative language on the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program can be found in Sec. 60305 of the HEROS Act, beginning on page 712 of the bill pdf, which can be downloaded from the House of Representatives website


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