On Monday, the Iowa Corn Growers Association® (ICGA) hosted the Annual Grassroots Summit allowing ICGA delegates to set the direction for state and federal policy priorities for the coming year. During the Summit, a united group of over 100 farmer delegates voiced their support for the Next Generation Fuels Act, H.R. 5089, legislation to transition gasoline to higher octane ethanol fuel to reduce harmful emissions, improve air quality, increase fuel efficiency, and grow future demand for corn.
“The Iowa Corn Growers Association delegation unanimously voted to fully support the bipartisan Next Generation Fuels Act, which will expand access to the fuel tank for higher blends of corn-based ethanol – a low-carbon octane source that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and human health, and support agriculture’s contribution toward tackling climate change,” stated incoming ICGA President Lance Lillibridge, a farmer from Vinton, Iowa. “ICGA extends its thanks to Congresswoman Cindy Axne, an original co-sponsor of the bill, and we urge the rest of the Iowa U.S. House delegation to follow suit to back this important piece of legislation.”
“It was a great pleasure to attend ICGA’s Annual Grassroots Summit and to have unwavering support from their ICGA farmer membership on the Next Generation Fuels Act. This bill is a significant step toward helping us address important environmental issues while creating a demand for corn that helps Iowa farmers and rural businesses,” said National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett. “The bill recognizes that corn ethanol is an effective, low-carbon octane source, providing the greatest fuel efficiency gains at the least cost to drivers while displacing the most toxic components of gasoline. Given the importance of this legislation to Iowans, we hope the state’s congressional delegation will demonstrate full support by cosponsoring the bill.”
Additionally, the farmer delegates reviewed expiring policies and debated new policy resolutions. This ICGA policy process includes a member-wide survey in the spring, local roundtable discussions held in the summer and the Annual Grassroots Summit in late August. Policies related to national issues will be brought forward at the Commodity Classic meetings with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) farmer delegates.
ICGA’s delegates deliberated on many important state issues impacting Iowa corn farmers, including these priority issues:
Conservation/Water Quality – Maintain legislative funding stream for Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Ethanol – Obtain and increase funding for renewable fueling infrastructure cost-share program (Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program) and support an Iowa Biofuels Standard.
Livestock – Support existing regulatory framework for the livestock industry
Taxes – Protect critical tax credits (such as Section 179 and biofuels)
* (Listed in alphabetical order)
Delegates also weighed several key federal issues:
Ethanol – Retain the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), reallocation of unjustified Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs), and reduce regulatory barriers for higher blends
Carbon – Support carbon credit sequestration programs.
Taxes – Keep the current federal farm tax structure in place.
Trade – Expand new and protect existing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements
Trade – Protect/expand the Market Access Program (MAP) & Foreign Market Development (FMD) program funding annually, and as part of the Farm Bill
Transportation – Maintain and upgrade our inland waterways and transportation system
* (Listed in alphabetical order)
ICGA will release its finalized top 2022 state and federal policy priorities in December based on ICGA Corn Board discussion as well as the grassroots input provided during the Summit. The complete 2021-2022 policy resolution book will be available online and upon request by emailing email@example.com or calling 515-225-9242.
BACKGROUND ON NEXT GENERATION FUELS ACT:
The Next Generation Fuels Act, a bipartisan bill to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fuels and passenger vehicles through increased use of higher ethanol blends. Recognizing the benefits of ethanol’s high-octane, low carbon properties in optimized vehicles, this legislation promises to increase demand for corn and biofuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and human health, and increase fuel efficiency.
The Next Generation Fuels Act is sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL, along with seven bipartisan co-sponsors: Rep. Cindy Axne, D-IA, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, Rep. James Comer, R-KY, Rep. Jason Smith, R-MO, Rep. Darin LaHood, R-IL, Rep. Mike Bost, R-IL, and Rep. Lisa McClain, R-MI.
Brandi Strautman, Public Relations Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-225-9242