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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Rep. Randy Feenstra Looks Ahead to 2023

The EPA recently announced new Renewable fuel standards for 2023-2025. This requires transportation fuel sold to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. The changes are based partially on the fact that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 doesn’t include a standard for after the 2022 year. Randy Feenstra, who represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, says Iowa farmers were watching the changes very closely. 

“Every other row of Corn or soybeans goes to Ethanol or Biodiesel. That's a tremendous amount of our grains,” Feenstra said. 

The changes include about a 1% increase from 2022 to 2023 and of 10% through 2025, with biomass-based diesel up 2.2% from 2022 and up 7% through 2025. Feenstra notes the changes are fairly insignificant and that they were lower than he expected. However he said there is a bottom line. 

“For families and for farmers it's all about lowering that cost per gallon,” Feenstra said. “If you use E-85 or E15 or E-11, you can save yourself anywhere from $.15/gallon to $.20 gallon.”

After virtual hearings and written comments in early 2023, a final mandate is expected by summer of 2023. 

 

Feenstra said there is another item on his agenda with Iowa farmers in mind. 

Earlier in December, Feenstra helped introduce the Agricultural Foreign Investment Transparency Act. It would help monitor foreign purchases of American farmland and help with transparency in land acquisitions by foreign entities. Feenstra was adamant about what this means to Americans. 

“We have 37.6 million acres of Ag land being owned by foreign Investors,” Feenstra said. “That’s bigger than (the state) Iowa on the land owned by foreign investors.”

The bill would amend the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA). It would make the Secretary of Agriculture publicly post all AFIDA reports.

“For the security and safety of our country when they start owning land by our military installation, our land should be purchased by families and (kept) in Iowa,” Feenstra said. “That transfer of land needs to be from one generation to the next.”

Among other things, the new bill would Increase oversight and expand the scope of reporting to ensure there is a report of all idle land acquisitions.

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