Following the December 16 passage of a retroactive extension of the federal tax credits for cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is praising Congress for extending these vital programs, and is urging the next Congress to act swiftly in extending the provisions for 2015.
The bill passed this week retroactively renews, for 2014 only, a list of 55 popular tax breaks—including those for biodiesel and advanced ethanol production. All of the tax breaks will expire on Dec. 31, 2014. "We urge the next Congress to extend these important biofuel provisions for 2015," says Monte Shaw, IRFA executive director.
Applauds cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel tax credit extension
Shaw says IRFA remains hopeful for more certainty in 2015. "While we greatly appreciate the retroactive extension of these tax credits that are vital to the production of cleaner-burning advanced biofuels for 2014, in only a matter of days they will lapse once again," says Shaw. "The new Congress needs to extend these important provisions for 2015 right away when it convenes in the New Year."
He adds, "Congress needs to do this to provide the policy certainty necessary for advanced biofuel producers to continue building upon the air quality and energy security progress achieved to date. The cloud of uncertainty for 2015 only grows darker when you factor in EPA inaction on the Renewable Fuel Standard and the upcoming 102nd birthday for permanent federal tax subsidies for petroleum products."
On the night of December 16, the U.S. Senate passed the tax extenders package by a vote of 76 to 16 and it includes the retroactive extension of the cellulosic and biodiesel tax credits for 2014. On December 3, the House approved the same extenders package by a vote of 378 to 46.
Iowans taking advantage of E85 benefits, purchasing more E85
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association also announced on Dec. 17 that Iowa motorists purchased 3,341,822 gallons of E85 ethanol in the third quarter of 2014, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Revenue. The more than 3.3 million gallons of E85 sold is the third highest E85 sales in any quarter on record, and is a more than 350,000 gallon increase (12%) over the second quarter of 2014.
"It's encouraging to see motorists stepping up to improve air quality in Iowa while taking advantage of attractive E85 prices in the third quarter of 2014," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "Price is often a motivator for consumers, but there are many reasons to use E85, including the energy security, environmental and local economic development benefits. And, while falling petroleum prices may curtail E85 sales in the fourth quarter, a record setting year for E85 sales in Iowa is still within reach."
Third quarter 2014 is third highest quarter on record for E85 sales
In Iowa, E85 is a fuel blend containing between 70% and 85% ethanol. E85 is currently sold at more than 200 fueling sites in Iowa, and can be used in all flex-fuel vehicles (FFV). To determine if your vehicle can use E85, check your owner's manual, the vehicle's fuel cap or click here for a list of FFVs. For a list of retail locations offering E85 click here. To view the Iowa Dept. of Revenue's quarterly E85 sales data click here.
Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, including 22 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity and one cellulosic ethanol facility currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The 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 information visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website.