Industry supports extension of cellulosic, advanced tax credits

By AEC, Growth Energy, RFA | March 08, 2012

Washington – The Renewable Fuels Association, Advanced Ethanol Council and Growth Energy March 8 expressed support for an amendment to the Senate transportation bill offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. RFA and AEC each also sent a letter to Senate leadership about the amendment.

“We support Sen. Stabenow’s amendment because it will help consumers have access to the most affordable vehicle fuel on earth – ethanol.  We believe that as long as oil maintains it’s near monopoly over the market, this country needs to encourage the development of alternatives, like ethanol from cellulosic biomass. Otherwise we will always be victim to the saber-rattling of rogue states like Iran, which can drive up fuel prices for everyday Americans with just a threat,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.  “Ethanol from grain is already the most commercially-viable alternative to gasoline derived from foreign oil. We are very close to making cellulosic ethanol viable as well – and this policy will help a great deal with that.”

Writing to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen wrote, “On behalf of America’s ethanol industry, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is writing to voice our support for the Stabenow amendment (No. 1812) to the pending transportation bill.  The Stabenow amendment includes three very important tax incentive extensions that will encourage investment in new biofuel technologies and infrastructure that will lower gasoline price and provide consumers choice at the pump.”

“With gas prices soaring, it is increasingly important to diversify U.S. motor fuel markets with viable and competitive alternatives to gasoline, such as advanced ethanol, that will offer American consumers a choice at the gas pump,” said Brooke Coleman, executive director of AEC.

Specifically, the Stabenow amendment would provide for the extension of two critical tax incentives for the advanced and cellulosic ethanol industry -- the Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit (PTC) and the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Property – as well as extending the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit that helps gasoline retailers install blender pumps and other ethanol fueling infrastructure, the RFA said.  These policies are vital to the ongoing development of the domestic ethanol industry and commercialization of the advanced and cellulosic ethanol industry. 

The Stabenow amendment was one of several amendments to the highway transportation bill that is expected to be voted on today or early next week, Growth Energy said. The Stabenow legislation will extend a series of expiring energy tax provisions.  Included in the amendment are extensions for the $1.01 per gallon production tax credit for cellulosic biofuel through 2014, and an extension through the end of the year for the tax incentive to encourage gas station owners that use alternative fuel dispensers, like ethanol Flex Fuel pumps and E85 pumps.