Iowa Senate Unanimously Passes Biofuel Bill

Iowa Senate Unanimously Passes Biofuel Bill

Vote in state legislature this week shows overwhelming, bipartisan support for biofuels.

A legislative measure aiding Iowa's biofuels industry was approved 48-0 on Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Senate File 2344 now goes to the House. If it passes that chamber and is signed into law, it will increase the state tax credit for E15 ethanol blended gasoline during the summer months. It will also extend the state biodiesel production tax credit for five years to retain and attract biodiesel production to Iowa, and add biobutanol—an advanced biofuel—to the state's renewable fuels industry.

BOOSTING BIOFUELS: A biofuels bill is working its way through the Iowa Legislature in the 2014 session. If signed into law, this bill will protect Iowa jobs and expand access to cleaner burning biofuels, says Grant Menke of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

In addition, an amendment to the bill extends tax credits to retailers who sell biodiesel, E15 and E85 motor fuels. It will extend the tax credits for an additional two years from 2017 to 2019, says Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, the bill's floor manager.

Supporters of Iowa's biofuels industry praise the legislation. "This vote sends a clear message that Iowans are serious about increasing renewable fuels production and use, expanding consumer fuel choice and growing Iowa's economy," says Grant Menke, policy director at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. "I applaud the Iowa Senate for voting unanimously to protect Iowa jobs and access to homegrown, clean-burning renewable fuels."

This bill will help renewable fuels in several ways
Daniel Oh, chief executive officer of the Ames-based Renewable Energy Group, the largest biodiesel producer in the nation, says, "Biodiesel is a proven contributor to strengthening America's energy and economic security and protecting our environment. We are very pleased and grateful to see continuing bipartisan Senate support for a growing biodiesel industry and the thousands of jobs it supports."

With renewable fuels producers facing unprecedented federal policy uncertainty, Senate File 2344 protects Iowa's renewable fuels industry by extending the state's biodiesel production tax credit that is set to expire at the end of this year, and enhancing the state's E15 retailer tax credit to help alleviate extra costs to Iowa retailers who want to offer E15 as a registered fuel during the summer driving season. The bill also updates Iowa Code to define biobutanol as a legal renewable fuel option for Iowans.

Amendment extends retailer tax credits, also important
"In addition, the Iowa Senate adopted the amendment to the bill which extends retailer tax credits for biodiesel, E15 and E85," notes Menke.  "That's very important, too."

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. IRFA was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website.

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