Senators Take Up Ethanol Tax Incentive Fight

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) have introduced the GREEN Jobs Act of 2010 that would extend key tax incentives for the use and production of all forms of ethanol. Specifically, the bill extends through 2015 the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), the offsetting tariff on foreign ethanol, the Small Producers Tax Credit, and the Cellulosic Ethanol Producer Tax Credit. Grassley and Conrad were joined by Senators John Thune (R-SD), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Mike Johanns (R-NE) as co-sponsors.

The Green Jobs Act of 2010 is the companion legislation to H.R. 4940, the Renewable Fuels Reinvestment Act, introduced by Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and John Shimkus (R-IL). That bill currently has 33 bipartisan cosponsors.

Specifically, each bill would:

• Extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) of $0.45 per gallon available to oil and gasoline refiners for each gallon of ethanol they blend through December 31, 2015. The VEETC is set to expire at the end of 2010.

• Extend the corresponding secondary tariff on ethanol through December 31, 2015. The secondary tariff exists to offset the benefit of the VEETC which is available to all sources of ethanol, regardless of its country of origin. The tariff sunsets at the end of 2010.

• Extend the Small Producers Tax Credit until January 1, 2016. This $0.10 per gallon tax credit is available on the first 15 million gallons of ethanol produced by ethanol companies producing no more than 60 million gallons per year. This tax credit expires at the end of 2010.

• Extend the Cellulosic Ethanol Producer Tax Credit until January 1, 2016. Currently, cellulosic ethanol is eligible for both the $0.45 per gallon VEETC as well as an addition $0.56 per gallon production tax credit. This tax credit expires at the end of 2012.

“Tax incentives aiding the expansion of America’s ethanol industry are sound public policies by any economic, environmental or energy measure,” says Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen. “Domestic ethanol use is lowering the price of gasoline, reducing imports of foreign oil, and helping stabilize and reinvigorate rural economies all across the country. Senators Grassley, Conrad, and their colleagues continue to show tremendous leadership and a keen understanding as to the energy, economic and environmental importance of a domestic ethanol industry. Passage of their bill would ensure the evolution of American ethanol technologies continues.”

(Source: Renewable Fuels Association)

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