Rep. Axne highlights benefits of Build Back Better plan for biofuel sector


Rising meat prices boosted Tyson profits. The top U.S. meatpacker reported stronger than expected quarterly profit this week, forecasting improved revenue for the year ahead, a double-digit jump in sales and earnings in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, and a record quarter in its beef operations despite cattle prices up 20%.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was speaking on the four largest meat processors including Tyson this week. In a speech on the Senate floor, he advocated for work to bump up transparency in the cattle market.

Last week, a bill was introduced aimed at that as well as increasing price discovery. Grassley says 30 years ago, the meat industry pushed back against mandatory livestock price reporting with similar arguments it is making today.

Groups like the North American Meat Institute says the bill ignores economics and will have unintended consequences while adding government mandates.

Grassley says the industry needs a change,”Now we have Senators, farmers, consumers from all over the country that want to see reform. Livestock farmers are losing money. Consumers are paying record high prices, for beef, meatpackers are making record profits.”

The Build Back Better Act has provisions aimed to help the biofuel sector.

In an exchange with Iowa Representative Cindy Axne and Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, Axne spoke on the one billion dollars in biofuels-related provisions she helped include now set for a vote in the House this week.

Those dollars would fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide grants over the next 10 years to expand infrastructure, upgrade tanks and pumps, and increase usage of higher blends.

Axne asked Skor how it would benefit the use of biofuels in transportation infrastructure.

“This would be the largest investment in higher-blend infrastructure we have seen to date, it really would unleash the power of biofuels. It gives us the ability to work with our retail partners to accelerate the market inclusion of E15, which is a lower cost, lower carbon, higher value fuel choice for consumers,” Skor replied.

Axne also emphasizes her commitment to seeing bipartisan legislation to allow for year-round sale of E15 blends of ethanol.

Nearly half of the U.S. lost rural population over the last 10 years. According to the Economic Research Service, 24 states saw reduced population in non-metropolitan areas and 16 of those states lost population overall or had slow growth of fewer than five percent.

Data from the 2020 Census, shows the U.S. population grew 7.5% from 2010 to 2020.

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