New Calif. law excludes corn ethanol from DRIVE program funding

By Erin Voegele | September 06, 2012

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that prevents corn ethanol projects within the state from being eligible for funding under California’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (DRIVE), effective July 1, 2013. The measure, AB 523, was first introduced in February 2011.

Specifically, the bill amends subpart (d) of Section 44272.3 of the state’s Health and Safety Code to read that the section will become inoperative on July 1, 2013 and will be repealed on Jan. 1, 2014 unless an enacted statute that becomes operative on or before that date deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed. The original subpart of the code simply noted that the section would become inoperative on July 1, 2013. It did not set a date for repeal or deadline for the establishment of a new statute. The section sates that the legislature, to the maximum extent feasible, should award loans to biorefiners to increase the efficiency and environmental sustainability of biofuel production. It also sets requirements and deadlines that biorefiners must meet in order qualify for a loan under the California Ethanol Producer Incentive Program.

In addition, the bill adds a new subsection, subsection (b), to Section 44272.4 that specifies that on or after July 1, 2013, corn ethanol projects are no longer eligible for funding.