Growth Energy, ag groups urge passage of Michigan biofuel bill

By Erin Voegele | June 23, 2022

The Michigan Senate Agriculture Committee on June 23 held a hearing to consider legislation that aims to create a tax credit for retailers that choose to sell higher ethanol fuel blends, such as E15 and E85.

The legislation, Senate Bill 814, was introduced in January by State Sen. Kevin Daley. The bill aims to create a 5-cent-per-gallon tax credit for the sale of E15 and an 8.5-cent-per-gallon credit for the sale of E85. Both credits would expire after five years unless renewed by the legislature.

Growth Energy General Counsel Joe Kakesh offered testimony in support of the bill. During his testimony, Kakesh urged lawmakers to pass the bill, noting it “would provide an important tax credit for retailers selling higher ethanol blends” and that the credits are important “as retailers in Michigan continue to build out the market and invest in additional infrastructure” for higher ethanol blends.

“Ethanol blends such as E15 and E85 provide environmental benefits, boost Michigan’s farmers and biofuel producers, and give consumers more affordable choices at the pump. With today’s record high gas prices, we’re seeing E15 sell for nearly 60 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline and E85 at a discount of 2 to 3 dollars per gallon,” added Kakesh.

The Michigan Farmers Union, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Clean Fuels Michigan are also advocating for passage of the bill. The groups on June 1 sent a letter to leaders of the Michigan legislature urging them to take action on the legislation. The ag group said the bill “represents an important opportunity for Michigan lawmakers to help boost production of homegrown biofuels and protect motorists by expanding sales E15 and E85, popular ethanol blends.” They also noted the legislation would cut fuel costs and open new markets for Michigan farmers while reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.