Today, Congressman Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined the USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small at Elite Octane’s Atlantic dry ethanol plant to announce a $ 250,000 energy efficiency grant funded by the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
The REAP grant will be used by Elite Octane to install a Dryer Exhaust Energy Recovery (DEER) system, which will capture and reuse energy from the plant dryer – allowing the plant to recover and use 89 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough electricity to power nearly 6,000 homes.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Iowa’s biofuels industry is at the forefront when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint. Not only do their products help keep millions of pounds of carbon out of our air by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, but they also implement systems to recover the energy, water and byproducts they use in their processes to keep them on a path to total carbon neutrality ”, said representative Axne. “These innovations are why I’m happy to see additional funding for REAP grants in our Build Back Better Act – and when combined with other funding I’ve secured for biofuels infrastructure. , they will generate new business for producers, our farmers and the rural and urban economies of Iowa who benefit from their success.
“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, and thanks to Congresswoman Axne, USDA Rural Development is investing $ 1.8 million in 92 Iowa businesses through our Rural Energy for America program. This investment includes a $ 250,000 grant to Elite Octane which will help reduce its energy costs and increase its bottom line ”, USDA Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said. “Rural development has a solid partner in MP Axne, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that biofuels drive renewable energy markets. The investments we are announcing today, in addition to investments throughout the Build Back Better program, show how the Biden-Harris administration is looking to rural America to drive climate-smart practices in the way that she knows best. USDA is committed to being a strong partner for rural people around the world, because when rural America succeeds, all of America succeeds.
USDA predicts that the DEER system will save the Atlantic plant more than $ 1.2 million per year in energy costs.
The Build Back Better Act, which Representative Axne helped create in the House, allocates an additional $ 2 billion in funding to REAP grants.
At the Atlantic Plant today, the MP and Deputy Secretary were joined by stakeholders from the Iowa renewable fuels community to discuss how biofuels and rural Iowa will benefit of the Build Back Better program. Attendees included Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, USDA Acting State Director of Rural Development, Iowa Darin Leach, and representatives from the Cass / Atlantic Development Corporation, Iowa Corn Growers Association, from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the Iowa Rural Development. Advice.
The updated draft text of the Build Back Better Act also includes:
$ 1 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide grants over the next 10 years to expand biofuel pump infrastructure, upgrade existing tanks and pumps, and increase the use of more blends high levels of ethanol and biodiesel.
This investment is double the amount originally proposed by Axne in its Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Law, which it introduced in March.
A four-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit, which was due to expire at the end of 2022 after being relaunched in December 2019 by Representative Axne and her colleagues.
In May, Representative Axne introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the biodiesel tax credit for three years.
A new tax credit to support the creation and use of sustainable aviation fuel, opening up a new growing market for Iowa’s biofuels and biodiesel.
These investments should put $ 500 million in the pockets of Iowa farmers, create new jobs in rural Iowa communities, and develop local clean energy sources.