As a reminder, the Iowa Corn Growers Association urges all members to submit public comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the agency's proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard or RFS. ICGA is calling on its members and all Iowans to communicate to the EPA the impact of this proposal on their farms and rural communities. "So far, over 500 Iowans have submitted comments in support of the RFS to the EPA through the corn website, and we hope to have 1,000 comments from Iowa by January 28," says Mindy Larsen Poldberg, director of government affairs for ICGA. "The National Corn Growers Association goal is to have 10,000 comments submitted from across the country."
You can click here to send a note directly to the EPA opposing the RFS reduction proposal and encourage others to do the same, she says. If you would like to further personalize the comment by estimating the potential loss to your own farming operation, click here.
For more information on the RFS, click here. The EPA comment period ends on January 28, notes Poldberg. "Thank you to all ICGA members who have already submitted comments on the RFS proposal."
ICGA lists its two top 2014 legislative priorities: ethanol and support for the Renewable Fuel Standard
In the upcoming session of the 2014 Iowa Legislature, which gets underway January 13, the Iowa Corn Growers Association will work with the Iowa House and Senate to support a legislative resolution in support of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, says Poldberg. The resolution will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The resolution would urge the U.S. government to continue its support of the RFS and its commitment to farmers, consumers and the environment.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The ICGA will also seek an extension of current income tax credits and the fuel tax differential for ethanol, she says. The current state ethanol fuel tax differential was extended last year and will again expire in July 2014; the law provides up to a 2-cent fuel tax benefit for any ethanol blended fuel, including E85, E15, E10 and anything in-between. ICGA supports tax incentives for all types of ethanol at the state level. There is no federal subsidy or tax credit for ethanol; the federal ethanol blenders tax credit expired in December of 2011.
Another ICGA 2014 legislative priority is an increase in the state fuel tax
During the 2014 state legislative session, the Iowa Corn Growers Association will support an increase in funding for Iowa's roads and bridges, including a state fuel tax increase, says ICGA president Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Lynnville in central Iowa. This is the third consecutive year the ICGA has worked with many groups to lobby for a fuel tax increase, and in 2014 it will remain one of the Iowa Corn Grower's Association's top legislative priorities.
Iowa's roads and bridges in many areas are in desperate need of improvement, and funding to support Iowa's roads is currently not enough to meet the demand for maintenance of Iowa's road system. Iowa's Road Use Tax Fund is funded by the fuel tax and is constitutionally protected from diversions for other purposes. "Transportation infrastructure is essential for corn growers and Iowa's economy," says Zylstra.