The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) recently filed two sets of comments to help shape implementation of key biofuel provisions from the Inflation Reduction Act IRA major legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this year.
One set of comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture addresses the IRA’s $500 million biofuels infrastructure program, and the other set of comments provides recommendations to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service for their pending guidance for new tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel and clean fuel production, which will include ethanol. Both sets of comments highlighted the positive role farmers and ethanol play in saving drivers money and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
NCGA’s input for USDA’s biofuels infrastructure program was developed with feedback from state corn grower associations based on states’ on-the-ground experience with prior programs. NCGA President Tom Haag also noted corn growers’ investments in biofuels infrastructure and offered continued partnership with NCGA and state corn grower organizations to support the success of USDA’s biofuels infrastructure program.
“NCGA and its affiliated state organizations have promoted USDA’s recent Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, and corn growers have provided funding to support participants in the application process and cost-share assistance for applicants through our promotion programs,” Haag wrote in the input to USDA. “As such, NCGA and its state affiliates have a vested interest in the continued success of USDA’s biofuels infrastructure grant program and achieving positive outcomes with the $500 million provided in the Inflation Reduction Act. We look forward to partnering with USDA on this program.”
In the comments to Treasury and the IRS, Haag encouraged the agencies to work with the U.S. Department of Energy and USDA to implement the new sustainable aviation fuel and clean fuel tax credits. Expertise and data from DOE and USDA will ensure an accurate and effective carbon performance standard that correctly captures and accounts for ongoing carbon emissions reductions in both corn feedstock and ethanol production, expanding agriculture’s clean energy contribution through new fuels like sustainable aviation fuel and clean liquid fuels like ethanol.
Specifically, NCGA urged Treasury and IRS to use the best carbon lifecycle measurement within the federal government, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model, for the sustainable aviation fuel tax credits, in addition to the requirement already in the law to use GREET for the clean fuel production credit.
“(Farmers’) production practice improvements will further reduce the carbon intensity of sustainable aviation fuel and other clean fuels with lower-carbon feedstocks, but these and other carbon intensity reductions will not be properly accounted for without an updated and dynamic life cycle analysis, shortchanging sustainable aviation fuel innovation, new production and emission reductions,” said Haag in the comments to Treasury and IRS. “The climate programs and tax credits of the Inflation Reduction Act must work together to support clean energy innovation, reduce emissions, improve energy security, and grow rural economies.”
NCGA will continue to provide input to federal agencies to ensure corn growers have a seat at the table when it comes to implementation of these new programs and tax incentives.