Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on Tuesday received the 2015 Fueling Growth Award from Growth Energy for his work to develop policies that support clean-burning, domestically produced ethanol. Grassley was presented the award at the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., where he spoke about renewable energy and the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” Grassley said. “I’ve been an advocate of renewable fuels for a long time, starting with ethanol. Alternative energy sources reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase national security, and create jobs for American workers in addition to extending our fuel supply and lowering prices at the pump.”
The award is given annually by Growth Energy to members of Congress who support ethanol advancement and work to craft consistent and fair federal policy for the industry.
Grassley vigorously advocates for the maintenance and strength of the Renewable Fuel Standard. In July 2015, Grassley urged the Environmental Protection Agency to revise and increase its proposed volume obligations for renewable biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, 2015 and 2016. In April, Grassley led a bipartisan group of senators in calling for a strong volume requirement for biodiesel under the RFS.
In July 2015, Grassley also secured Finance Committee passage of tax incentives for biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol in a bipartisan tax extenders bill. The committee accepted a Grassley amendment to change the biodiesel fuels tax credit from a mixture credit to a production credit for 2016. Among the benefits, the change would ensure that U.S. tax policy incentivizes a domestic industry instead of subsidizing imported biofuels. The provision, along with other tax extenders provisions, awaits full Senate consideration.
Nationally, the renewable fuels industry supported more than 400,000 jobs and added $53 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2014, according to Growth Energy.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association reported that with 43 ethanol plants and 3.9 billion gallons produced in 2014, Iowa ethanol production is at a record high and is the largest producer of ethanol in the country. Iowa’s production accounts for about 27 percent of national ethanol production.