Business & Economy
Cantwell, Grassley Introduce Bipartisan Biodiesel Tax Credit Bill to Spur Job Growth, Boost Clean Energy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 14 February 2014 12:15

Legislation would help lower the costs of biodiesel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced bipartisan legislation to reinstate a tax incentive for the production of domestic biodiesel that will help spur job creation and boost America’s supply of cleaner alternatives to imported fossil fuels.

The measure, the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension Act of 2014, or S. 2021, would reform and extend the $1-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel producers through 2017 after Congress allowed the law to lapse at the end of 2013. Congress has allowed the credit to expire three times since the end of 2009.

“Investing in America’s clean energy economy is the smart thing to do for our environment and America’s energy security,” Cantwell said. “Biodiesel is America’s first advanced biofuel, which can be made from a variety of feedstocks such as cooking grease and soybeans. This legislation gives businesses the certainty they need to invest in biodiesel and the development of affordable, domestic alternatives to fossil fuels.”

“When investors suspend their funding of clean energy production, jobs fall by the wayside,” Grassley said. “Continuing incentives for biodiesel and other green energy sources supports jobs, helps the environment and increases energy independence. There's every reason to support biodiesel production.”

Industry growth stopped after Congress let the credit expire in 2012 and production remained flat at just under 1.1 billion gallons – the same level as 2011. When the credit was reinstated in 2013, the U.S. biodiesel industry produced1.8 billion gallons in that year.

The bipartisan Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension Act of 2014 would provide predictability to investors and producers so the United States can continue moving forward to displace imported fossil fuels with low carbon, renewable biodiesel. Biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 86 percent when compared with petroleum diesel, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Biodiesel is America’s first commercial-scale U.S. fuel to meet the EPA’s definition of an advanced biofuel. EPA approved feedstocks include waste oils (like restaurant grease); animal fats; algae; cover crops; inedible oils from ethanol production; and secondary oils from crushed soybeans and canola seeds.

Specifically, the Cantwell-Grassley measure:

  • Provides a $1 per-gallon tax credit for the production of biodiesel, renewable diesel and aviation jet fuel that complies with fuel standards and Clean Air Act requirements.
  • Increases the credit from $1 to $1.10 for the first 15 million gallons of biodiesel produced by small producers with an annual production capacity of less than 60 million gallons.
  • Eliminates potential abuses and simplifies how the tax is administered by restricting the credit to fuel producers and excluding fuel blenders from eligibility. By focusing on production, this bill would eliminate any remaining opportunity for abuse known as “splash and dash” in which oil companies add a few drops of biodiesel to petroleum diesel to qualify for the tax credit. The change also ensures the credit benefits domestic producers – the old law allowed blenders to receive the credit for blends that included foreign-imported biodiesel.
  • Simplifies the definition of “biodiesel” to encourage production from any biomass-based feedstock or recycled oils and fats.
  • Tightens compliance and reduces administrative burdens on taxpayers by simplifying the coordination between the income tax credit and the excise tax liability.
  • Extends this tax credit for three years, giving needed financial predictability so that more facilities can be brought online in the United States.

The biodiesel tax credit continues to play an important role in supporting the development of this advanced biofuel that displaces foreign petroleum, provides environmental benefits, and promotes jobs and economic development, particularly in rural America.

 

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How to Navigate Retirement in the 21st Century PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 14 February 2014 12:12
Financial Planner: Another 2008-style Economic Disaster
Could Happen Again, Suggests New Kind of Diversity

While the world is still feeling the long ripples of the economic meltdown that began six years ago, our economic institutions remain “too big to fail” – at least in the minds of  millions of retired Americans and those soon to join their ranks, says veteran financial advisor Curt Whipple.

“That’s what we see when we review their retirement portfolios,” says Whipple, a Certified Wealth Strategist, Certified Estate Planner and CEO of C. Curtis Financial Group. He recently published “Retiree Lifeline! How to Get Government Out of Your Pocket,” (ccurtisfinancial.com), a retirement planning guide.

“I see it all the time: a new client comes in with what they believe to be a ‘diverse’ portfolio. While it may be diverse in terms of Wall Street holdings, a solid retirement plan also requires diversity outside of a system that’s ‘too big to fail,’ which could fail yet again.”

When Wall Street falls, it shouldn’t mean that Main Street must as well. Whipple outlines the three kinds of money retirees should have available for enjoying the golden years with peace of mind.

• Red money … can be defined as that which is tied to Wall Street, by far the most popular kind of investment, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. “I’ve been looking at the accounts of new clients for nearly three decades, and on average, 92 percent of their retirement plan is based in these investments,” he says. “That’s risky, especially as you get closer to retirement age or once you retire. You don’t want 92 percent of your retirement premised on that kind of potential volatility.”

• Blue money … is often referred to as “alternative investments,” which typically include Real Estate Trusts (REITS), equipment leasing programs, precious metals such as gold and silver, high grade rare coins and collectibles. “This ‘color’ of money has been an important portion of the pie for success in my clients’ investments; they were essentially unaffected by our recent economic collapse because they were so well diversified.” This is a highly advantageous part of a portfolio because it historically creates good income with a low correlation to the stock market.

• Green money … is accounts that come with a guarantee of some sort. They are either backed by the FDIC, the Legal Reserve System, which is supported by the insurance industry, or insurance companies themselves. “Not all wealth is created equally, and this is the safest kind of money you can have in your retirement plan,” he says. Green money includes investments in one’s portfolio that have guarantees to not lose one’s principal and, sometimes, one’s earnings.

“Investment in Wall Street should be much lower for those who are either retired or are about to be retired,” Whipple says. “Depending on a person’s age, a good investment portfolio could include about 36 percent red money, 32 percent blue money and 32 percent green money.”

About Curt Whipple, CWS, CEP

Curt Whipple, Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS) and Certified Estate Planner (CEP), is Chief Managing Partner at the C. Curtis Financial Group, which he formed in 1986. Since then, Curtis Financial Group has counseled and advised individuals and corporations on their financial goals and decisions. Whipple is a nationally recognized speaker.

 
Low-Price Grocery Leader ALDI Brings New Jobs to Davenport PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Tayler Jackson   
Friday, 14 February 2014 09:00

Local Hiring Event on Feb. 17 Open to the Public

Davenport, Iowa – Feb. 13, 2014 – Known for offering wages significantly higher than the industry standard, ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader*, will host a hiring event for its Davenport-area stores on Monday, Feb. 17. Opportunities within ALDI include Store Associates, Shift Managers and Manager Trainees.

The hiring event is in support of the ongoing growth of ALDI in the area, offering customers the ALDI brand promise of high-quality grocery items at unbeatable prices.

What:   ALDI hiring events for Davenport, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Silvis, Ill.

Who:    ALDI representatives and local residents currently seeking employment opportunities

When:  Monday, Feb. 17 from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Where:  ALDI, 1702 Brady St., Davenport, IA  52803

Positions: Store Associate - $11.35 per hour

Shift Manager - $15.35 per hour

Manager Trainee - $19.50 per hour

Job Requirements:          • Must be 18 years or older to apply

High school diploma or GED

Must be available to work anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday - Sunday

Retail experience preferred

Management experience preferred for Manager Trainees

Drug screening and background check

Ability to lift 45 pounds

Quick Facts: ALDI offers employees generous compensation that is considered well above the industry standard

Part-time staff working at least 20 hours a week receive full health insurance, dental coverage and 401K

About ALDI Inc.

A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates nearly 1,300 stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 25 million customers each month save up to 50 percent** on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. For more information about ALDI, visit www.aldi.us.

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*According to a survey of more than 6,500 consumers conducted in May 2013 by Market Force Information.

 
Low-Price Grocery Leader ALDI Brings New Jobs to Iowa City PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Tayler Jackson   
Friday, 14 February 2014 08:41

Local Hiring Event on Feb. 17 Open to the Public

Iowa City, Iowa – Feb. 13, 2014 – Known for offering wages significantly higher than the industry standard, ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader*, will host a hiring event for its Iowa City-area stores on Monday, Feb. 17. Opportunities within ALDI include Store Associates, Shift Managers and Manager Trainees.

 

The hiring events follow the recent Iowa City store opening that expanded grocery retail options in the market with the ALDI brand promise of high-quality grocery items at unbeatable prices.

What:  ALDI hiring events for Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Marion, Iowa

Who:   ALDI representatives and local residents currently seeking employment opportunities

 When:  Monday, Feb. 17 from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Where:  ALDI, 760 Ruppert Road, Iowa City, IA  52246

Positions: Store Associate - $12.35 per hour

Shift Manager - $16.35 per hour

Manager Trainee - $19.50 per hour

 Job Requirements:          • Must be 18 years or older to apply

High school diploma or GED

Must be available to work anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday - Sunday

Retail experience preferred

Management experience preferred for Manager Trainees

Drug screening and background check

Ability to lift 45 pounds

Quick Facts: ALDI offers employees generous compensation that is considered well above the industry standard

Part-time staff working at least 20 hours a week receive full health insurance, dental coverage and 401K

About ALDI Inc.

A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates nearly 1,300 stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 25 million customers each month save up to 50 percent** on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. For more information about ALDI, visit www.aldi.us.

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Praise for Loebsack’s Re-FUEL Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 14 February 2014 08:40

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Dave Loebsack introduced the Re-FUEL Act, which would establish a grant program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in renewable and alternative fuel infrastructure. The Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act (HR 4051) will help create new and retrofit existing infrastructure, including pumps for biofuels and hydrogen, tanks, piping and electric vehicle chargers. Various renewable fuels, agriculture, and biofuel organizations praised Loebsack’s efforts to promote domestic fuel sources and provide greater choice at the pump.

“Farm Bureau strongly supports standards and incentives that strengthen the U.S. renewable fuels industry. AFBF remains committed to moving forward in further reducing our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil and expanding the use of domestic renewable energy sources.  Addressing infrastructure constraints is an important step in further developing and distributing domestic renewable fuels in to the marketplace and AFBF welcomes introduction of this important legislation.”

Ø  Dale Moore, Executive Director for Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation

“I commend Congressman Loebsack for introducing legislation that supports America’s consumers, rural communities and growing biofuels industry. By supporting renewable fuel infrastructure, this legislation will help push our nation toward energy independence and give consumers some much needed choice and savings at the pump. This legislation also emphasizes the importance of investing in and revitalizing rural America.”

Ø  Tom Buis, CEO, Growth Energy

"Representative Loebsack is to be commended for his vision and commitment to American energy independence and economic security. The Re-FUEL Act will encourage fuel and energy diversity, which will not only introduce consumer choice at the pump, it will deliver cost-saving options to foreign fossil fuels. The pace at which the renewable fuel advantages will be available to American drivers is greatly sped up by the fact that the proposed grants can be used for infrastructure like new blender pumps as well as retrofitting existing pumps, pipes, tanks and chargers.”

Ø  Bob Dinneen, President, Renewable Fuels Association

“The Re-FUEL Act is a great step for expanding consumer fuel choice and ensuring Americans have access to low-cost, homegrown fuel options at the pump. We thank Representative Loebsack for his commitment to cutting oil dependence, increasing the availability of clean-burning, renewable fuel options, and growing the rural economy.”

Ø  Grant Menke, Policy Director, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

“The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) applauds Congressman Loebsack for his leadership in recognizing that consumers deserve better, cleaner, and more affordable fuel choices than what oil companies supply today.  His legislation to help station owners invest in renewable and alternative fuel infrastructure, such as blender pumps for ethanol-blended fuel, puts drivers in charge of what fuel to use in vehicles and makes all fuel sources compete based on price.”

Ø  Brian Jennings, Executive VP, American Coalition for Ethanol

"This bill will help level the playing field for new types of renewable energy to directly impact consumers."

Ø  Lloyd Ritter, Co-director, Agriculture Energy Coalition

"The bill will help rural businesses build infrastructure that brings consumers choice in using homegrown energy sources."

Ø  Matt Carr, Managing Director of Policy, Biotechnology Industry Organization's Industrial & Environmental section

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