– by James Q. Lynch, November 24, 2017, Globe Gazette
The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny attempts to change Renewable Fuel Standard rules is good news for the ethanol industry and fuel retailers who would have had to assume responsibility for blending ethanol with gasoline, according Iowa officials who opposed the changes.
“This is the right policy conclusion and I’m glad to see it happening,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said about the EPA decision announced Wednesday. “This decision puts the issue to bed, and certainty is so important. It’s a decision from the EPA that sides with the integrity of the RFS.”
– June 16, 2016, KCCI
Federal prosecutors say a northeast Iowa ethanol plant owner has pleaded guilty to failing to pay employment taxes and dumping ethanol into a stream.
Randy Less, of Hopkinton, was charged in January with failing to collect and pay to the government federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of employees of Permeate Refining.
– by Associated Press, May 2, 2016, Washington Times
A recent Iowa rail safety study says Dubuque County remains vulnerable to crude oil or biofuels spills more than a year after several railcars carrying ethanol derailed along the Mississippi River.
The state’s Department of Transportation and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department released the study last week, the Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/21qc7Vv ) reports. It examines each county’s oil and ethanol transportation routes and volumes, previous incidence of spills, derailment and fire, likelihood of future incidents and public safety and environmental risk factors.
– March 5, 2016, Iowa Farmer Today
Iowa’s biofuels and biotechnology companies are watching closely as the legislature discusses a proposal to establish a renewable biochemical tax credit in the state.
The credit was first discussed last year in the legislature, but did not pass. Gov. Terry Branstad included the idea in his budget proposal in January of this year, and similar bills passed out of committees in the Iowa House and Senate before the recent legislative funnel deadline.
“We feel like it’s important economic development policy for Iowa,” says Joe Hrdlicka, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association.
The two bills, Senate Study Bill 3001 and House File 2288, each call for the establishment of a fund which would provide a 5 cent per pound tax credit for high-value chemicals produced in the state. The program would be capped at $10 million per year and $1 million per company (or $500,000 per company for companies more than five years old).
The idea, Hrdlicka says, is to encourage the growth of the biotech industry in Iowa. It would also boost the biofuel industry, since many of the chemicals that could be produced are co-products or by-products of the ethanol or biodiesel production processes. The credit could help provide a profitable market for those co-products.
– by Associated Press, January 27, 2016, Bristol Herald Courier
Managers of an eastern Iowa ethanol company face multiple charges of federal tax violations.
U.S. Attorney Kevin W. Techau announced Wednesday a Cedar Rapids grand jury on Jan. 21 indicted Randy Less and Darrell Smith on multiple counts of willfully failing to pay federal taxes. Prosecutors allege they withheld federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from employees but didn’t pay those taxes to the Internal Revenue Services.