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Opinion: Ahead of UN Climate Conference, Here’s Why Biden Must Embrace Biofuels

Federal Legislation, Federal Regulation, Feedstocks, Field/Orchard/Plantation Crops/Residues, Funding/Financing/Investing, Green Jobs, Iowa, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability
October 30, 2021

by By Rep. Randy Feenstra (Agri-Pulse)  … As gasoline prices skyrocket and President Biden and congressional Democrats are increasingly compelled to reduce carbon emissions, the facts paint a clear picture: Now is the time for Biden to embrace biofuels.

Iowa leads the nation in biofuels production, and it is a critical component to our thriving economy. According to a 2021 report from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa produced 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol and 351 million gallons of biodiesel in 2020 alone, and the industry supported nearly 40,000 jobs. The Iowa Corn Growers Association estimates 57% of corn grown in Iowa is used to produce ethanol — making over a fourth of all ethanol produced in the United States. Additionally, Caseys and Kum & Go — two major gasoline retailers headquartered in Iowa — support over 45,000 jobs across the Midwest. Approximately 55% of Casey’s revenue came from fuel sales from April 2020 to April 2021.

Despite the massive impact Iowa crops, biofuels, and automotive fuel retailers have on our nation’s economy, Democrats are clinging to a far-fetched notion that electric vehicles are the future. This is evident in their multi-trillion dollar social spending proposal, which includes tax breaks for wealthy electric vehicle owners. For example, families earning up to $800,000 a year could still receive a $25,000 tax break for buying two Teslas. Keep in mind that these vehicles continue to require baseload power generation from nonrenewable resources. What’s more, these tax credits for the rich — which my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim to despise — would divert approximately $16 billion in tax revenue according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Democrats’ initial proposal includes a whopping $42 billion in tax credits for electric vehicles, even though roughly 80% of these tax credits are claimed by coastal elites making over $100,000 a year. California is home to 42%<