Governor Branstad signs Iowa biofuel funding, closing out challenging session for biodiesel

May 14, 2017 |

In Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad has signed the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund bill (HF 643), which provides $3 million to fund the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. In 2016, Iowa’s biodiesel plants produced a record 305 million gallons of biodiesel, according to the National Biodiesel Board. A study by ABF Economics shows biodiesel activity generated about 3,800 full-time equivalent jobs and $300 million of household income in Iowa.

The news arrived as outlets were congratulating the Governor for a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voice vote today confirming Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the U.S. Ambassador to China.  Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), said “We’re grateful for the speedy confirmation of Terry Branstad by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We believe as the new U.S. Ambassador to China, Branstad will capitalize on his longstanding relationship with the President of China to continue to drive global demand for ethanol and coproducts, as well as advise the Trump administration on trade policy reform for the U.S. ethanol industry.”

“Governor Branstad has been exceptionally supportive of funding renewable fuels and this infrastructure program. We thank him whole-heartedly for his leadership,” said Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director. “This is a big win for biodiesel and other renewable fuels. The legislature had previously ended funding for the program, and in a tough budget year where other programs were eliminated, the extension of the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program is a clear sign of the Iowa Legislature’s support for the biofuels industry.”

Despite the victory, the legislative session posed challenges for the biofuels industry, Kimberley said. The Iowa House introduced legislation to reduce all state tax credits, which included a reduction and cap on renewable fuel retailer credits. IBB led the charge against the cut by mobilizing a network of members and coalition partners to convey the importance of these tax credits, and reinforce with legislators how the credits benefit Iowa’s economy and environment.

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