A Republican member of the House Ag Committee says the legislative branch should consider its role in a pair of key farm policy discussions. 

Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced plans to use emergency authority to allow E15 to be sold this summer

This announcement was welcomed by many in the agriculture industry, but biofuels supporters say they are going to continue to advocate for a more permanent solution, given the emergency waiver is only viewed as a fix for the summer of 2022.

“This is a temporary solution, it’s a stopgap measure that we expect will get us through this summer, but we still have the issue of what to do permanently and long term,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.

Cooper along with Courtney Briggs, senior director of congressional relations at American Farm Bureau, and Ralph Lott, chairman of the United Soybean Board spoke on this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers panel.

When asked what a permanent solution would look like, Cooper said, “There are other approaches that are being explored. Legislation would be the cleanest, but that’s not the only way to do this.” He said there are efforts among Midwest governors who would look to establish a Reid Vapor Pressure parity in their states through the rights under the clean air act. 

Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa., tells Agri-Pulse he is concerned over the Biden administration’s lack of reference to biofuels in their fiscal planning. 

“The concern I have is the administration came out with their budget two weeks ago. And there was zero word on biofuels and any increase or any dollars going into biofuels,” Feenstra said on the program. “I have grave concern about that.”

He said Congress might need to get involved to offer a legislative approach. 

Feenstra also brought up concerns with the “waters of the U.S.” saying Congress needs to take on a more active role.

“You have EPA dictating back and forth, depends on who's in the administration. You know, it's Congress's role to act and set policy and I think that's what has to happen,” said Feenstra. “To me, Congress needs to legislate and keep agencies like the EPA out of it.”

You can hear more from Feenstra and our panel discussion by watching the full Agri-Pulse Newsmakers show.

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