The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, as its title suggests, was created to spur the development of the “advanced biofuels” industry. However, the program instead spent over 50 percent of taxpayer funds from 2009-16 on mature food-based biofuels such as corn ethanol and soy biodiesel even though these biofuels have received decades of taxpayer subsidies and corn starch is not even an eligible feedstock for subsidies in farm bill bioenergy programs.
The bill would provide $50 million in discretionary funding for each year in FY 2019-23 (as compared to $15 million of mandatory funding for each year in FY 2014-18 and $20 million of discretionary funding for each of those years in the 2014 farm bill). H.R. 2 would add a restriction allowing no more than 33 percent of BPAB funding in each fiscal year to be spent on a single commodity feedstock. A restriction would be placed, for instance, on no more than one-third of funding to be spent on soy biodiesel.
According to our analysis of nearly a decade of BPAB funding, this restriction may slightly reduce funding to biofuels feedstocks such as soybeans.