Branstad signs bill to extend biofuel incentives in Iowa

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | May 26, 2016

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad recently signed S.F. 2309 into law, a bill that included the extension of several important renewable fuels tax incentives through 2024. The signing took place at REG Newton, a 30 million gallon per year capacity biodiesel production facility located in Newton, Iowa. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Policy Director Grant Menke released the following statement:

“We commend Gov. Branstad and the Iowa Legislature for once again stepping up for renewable fuels and ensuring these important incentives continue.  Iowa already leads the nation in renewable fuels production, and we want to ensure we continue to lead the way in the availability and use of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends as well.  The signing of this legislation does just that while also supporting Iowa jobs, cleaner air, competition at the pump, and lower fuel prices for Iowa’s motorists.  And with EPA’s recent lackluster RFS proposal, this legislation will be more important than ever.”

Included in this legislation is the extension of two retailer tax credits for ethanol blends.  The E85 Promotion Tax Credit, available for fuel blends containing 70 to 85 percent ethanol, was extended at 16 cents per gallon through 2024.  The E15 tax credit, available for fuel blends containing 15 to 69 percent ethanol, was extended through 2024 at 3 cents per gallon from September 16 through May 31, and 10 cents per gallon from June 1 through September 15 to help alleviate the summertime blending issues for registered E15.

The forward-thinking legislation also included an extension and adjustment of the Biodiesel Blended Fuel Retailer Tax Credit.  While the incentive will continue at 4.5 cents per gallon for retailers offering a biodiesel blend containing a minimum of 5 percent biodiesel (B5) through 2017, from 2018 through 2024 it will then provide a 3.5 cents per gallon incentive on B5, and a 5.5 cents per gallon credit on B11, or diesel blended with a minimum of 11 percent biodiesel.

According to a recent IRFA study, Iowa’s renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $4.6 billion of Iowa GDP, generates $2.3 billion in income for Iowa households and supports more than 43,000 jobs throughout all sectors of the Iowa economy.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production.  Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity.  In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association 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.