Axne to House Leadership: Treat Biofuels as Vital Energy Infrastructure

April 14, 2021
Press Release
In letter to House leadership and committee chairs, Rep. Axne seeks inclusion of biofuels investments and tax incentives in infrastructure legislation

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) wrote to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and four committee chairs to urge inclusion of investments and incentives for the biofuels sector in the House’s infrastructure proposal.

“Biofuels can and should be a part of the clean energy economy – and that starts with including it in our infrastructure bill. That’s what I told Secretary Buttigieg last week. That’s what I’ve told Secretary Vilsack and President Biden in the past. And with the House beginning to craft our own proposal, I’m letting my colleagues know what I’ll be fighting to see included,” said Rep. Axne. “I’ve heard it directly from the farmers and producers that I represent: our biofuels sector is ready and able to be a part of the clean energy solutions that we are finally going to get done in this Congress within this infrastructure bill. I am ready to support the robust infrastructure investments proposed by the White House, but our final proposals cannot forget this homegrown energy source that reduces our emissions and creates jobs across our nation.”

In her letter, Rep. Axne highlights the economic and emissions advantages that would come with investing in the biofuels sector.

A study in 2019 found that the ethanol industry alone supported nearly 350,000 jobs directly and indirectly while contributing over $40 billion to the economy,” wrote Rep. Axne. “As we seek ways to address the climate crisis, an investment in biofuels infrastructure and incentives for higher blends will provide an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Adding investments to grow biofuels energy infrastructure and incentives to further innovation and adoption of this homegrown American energy source would support the economies of rural communities across our country, encourage innovations that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and ensure that American farmers and producers are part of the economic revitalization that our infrastructure legislation will generate.”

Last week, on a call with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Axne raised concerns about the omission of biofuels solutions from the White House’s initial infrastructure proposal.

Today’s letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the Chairs of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means.

The full text of the letter can be found below:

Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Chairman Pallone, Chairman Scott, Chairman DeFazio, and Chairman Neal,

As the U.S. House of Representatives begins its work crafting an infrastructure package, I am writing to you to strongly encourage that support for biofuels be included through the direct investment and tax provisions of this legislation.

Although many portions of the American Jobs Act will provide the support and investments that are much needed for the Iowans I represent, I was disappointed that biofuels was not included in the initial framework laid out by the Biden Administration.

Biofuels are a homegrown source of energy that creates jobs and opportunity in the United States. A study in 2019 found that the ethanol industry alone supported nearly 350,000 jobs directly and indirectly while contributing over $40 billion to the economy. In Iowa, ethanol production created demand for over half of our state’s corn crop, resulting in more than $5.5 billion of revenue to Iowa farmers. Continued investment in biofuels will create more jobs and opportunity in the United States.

Biofuels can also play an immediate role in decarbonizing our transportation sector. A recent report by scientists at Harvard University found that ethanol had a carbon intensity score of nearly half that of gasoline, with some providing an even higher reduction. Continued innovation in the coming years is expected to provide even greater carbon benefits. As we seek ways to address the climate crisis, an investment in biofuels infrastructure and incentives for higher blends will provide an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Adding investments to grow biofuels energy infrastructure and incentives to further innovation and adoption of this homegrown American energy source would support jobs and economic growth in rural communities across our country, encourage innovations that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and ensure that American farmers and producers are part of the economic revitalization that our infrastructure legislation will generate.

The American Jobs Plan framework laid out by the Biden Administration is a robust and long overdue investment in our nation’s infrastructure. Significant investment to repair and renew our nation’s roads, bridges, and transit hubs are much needed and will grow economic opportunity for decades to come. And I’m pleased that the proposal also recognizes the 21st century needs of Iowans through new investments in expanding access to high-speed internet – ensuring rural America isn’t left behind in an increasingly digital world – as well as safe, affordable child care that will boost Iowa’s economic output and strengthen our middle class.

As we begin discussions on how to turn this proposal into law, I look forward to supporting a bill that sees those investments made alongside support for the biofuels sector that supports rural communities across Iowa’s Third Congressional District and beyond.

I look forward to working with you as Congress continues its important work on addressing the infrastructure needs of our nation.

Sincerely,

Cindy Axne

Member of Congress