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Grassley Continues to Hold Biden Administration’s Feet to the Fire to Support Biofuels, Family Farms

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today called on President Biden and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to support the nation’s biofuels community and family farms. In two letters, Grassley urged Biden to uphold his commitment to supporting the biofuels industry and sought information from Vilsack regarding Biden’s proposed changes in capital gains tax rates and the modification to stepped-up basis and how they will ultimately affect America’s family farms.

Grassley along with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Biden urging him to uphold his promise to support biofuels. Biden previously pledged to “promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America.” However, the administration’s proposed infrastructure bill would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly mentioning the biofuel industry.

The Iowa members also urged President Biden to recognize the ability for biofuels to be a permanent clean energy solution as developments in farming practices and in carbon capture technology are moving biofuels closer to becoming net carbon negative.

“Biofuels provide an immediate solution to help decarbonize our transportation sector while supporting rural America and providing a low carbon, cost effective choice to consumers,” the members wrote. “Biofuels should not be treated as a transition fuel, but prioritized as a fuel of the future.”

In the letter to Vilsack, Grassley and his colleagues called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make public a detailed explanation and any supporting economic analyses that clarify how the Biden administration’s proposed tax increases will affect farm estates. Specifically, the senators requested an analysis of Biden’s proposed changes in capital gains tax rates and the modification to stepped-up basis on America’s family farms.

“The proposed tax impacts are dependent on a number of factors, including but not limited to appreciation in farmland assets prior to a property owner’s death, size of the farm operation and associated assets, income of the heirs, and the farm’s ownership structure. Given these factors, we are writing to seek a detailed explanation and supporting economic analysis clarifying how these tax provisions will affect farm estates…” the senators wrote.

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