Feature

Colorado Corn applauds Sen. Bennet for his RFS support

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U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., recently expressed his support for Colorado’s corn producers and biofuels by signing on to a letter that voices concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s previous proposal to limit the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Colorado Corn staff and board members had recently been reaching out to Sen. Bennet, asking him to help draw attention to this issue in Washington, D.C., and once again the Senator came through for our state’s farmers. This outreach comes in advance of the EPA’s new proposal regarding the RFS. Having seen the EPA’s severe missteps in its 2014 proposal, Colorado Corn, like many others, has concerns.

The letter, now signed by several lawmakers, urges EPA administrator Gina McCarthy “to take this opportunity to reverse course from the 2014 proposed rule and craft targets for domestic biofuels that reflect Congress’ intended goals for the RFS.”

“The RFS has already proven to be an effective driver of alternative fuels and economic development,” the letter continues. “It has strengthened agriculture markets and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas. Setting strong biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and beyond will ensure this progress continues. A stable RFS will also provide the certainty needed to unlock future investments in renewable fuels and necessary infrastructure, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, and drive innovation and progress toward cellulosic, biodiesel, and other advanced biofuels.”

CCGA puts support behind young farmer-focused measure

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The number of state bills the Colorado Corn Growers Association is supporting grew this week, and now includes a tax proposal aimed at helping young farmers and ranchers.

CCGA’s Public Policy Committee voted Friday to support Colorado House Bill 15-1234, which allows an income tax deduction if the taxpayer enters into a qualified lease with an eligible beginning farmer or rancher.

One of the biggest challenges facing the ag industry is the aging farmer, with the average age of today’s producer at about 60 years old. A number of factors and challenges – such as the high price of land and other inputs – make it very difficult for young people to get their foot in the door, and CCGA is continually looking for ways to address this issue.  

The total number of bills CCGA is supporting during the 2015 Colorado Legislative Session is now at 14. These bills focus on a variety of issues, covering water, pesticide applicator rules, mineral rights, road regulations and renewable energy.

In addition to the 14 bills CCGA is supporting, the group is also monitoring a number of other bills, and considering support or opposition for those as well, as the legislative session moves forward.

Details and status updates about all of these bills are available at http://coloradocorn.com/public-policy/position-summary.

 

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