As the nation teeters on the brink of default, lawmakers from both parties continue to squabble while others seek to further erode the progress America has made in reducing our reliance on imported oil.
Earlier this week, Senators Thune, Klobuchar and Feinstein reached a compromise on ethanol tax legislation to end VEETC and use the funds for debt reduction, infrastructure investment, and cellulosic ethanol investment. In this blog post, the RFA explains exactly what this new legislation will consist of and where the ethanol industry will go from here. While this is not the perfect compromise, this bipartisan effort to find common ground is the kind of sensible policy making American voters desperately want from their elected leaders. We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senators Klobuchar and Thune in doggedly pursuing a solution to this impasse.
In politics, it is always wise to follow the money – both good and bad. In the case of Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) efforts to kill American ethanol production, the money tells the story.
As if more evidence was needed that America must end its coerced affair with OPEC, Javier Blas at the Financial Times reports that $100+ oil is likely the new norm. Why? Because OPEC members like Venezuela and Iran need to balance their books after years of “rampant military spending.”
In a letter sent to Congress yesterday, leading advocates of the U.S. biofuels industry urged the members to reject attempts to reduce, waive or eliminate the requirements of the RFS. This policy is essential to securing the capital investments needed to bring new biofuels technologies to commercialization.
Senator Grassley and a group of 7 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Domestic Energy Security Act of 2011. For all provisions, this bill would extend them through 2016 – in essence this is a 5 year bill. The following is a humble attempt to walk through them quickly.
When it comes to criticizing “wasteful” tax policy, neither Senator Tom Coburn nor the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal have much credibility. While focusing with near myopic precision on American farmers and ethanol producers, both Sen. Coburn and the Journal are exposing their enormous blind spots when it comes to oil subsidies and corporate tax policy that allows the world’s largest companies to pay no taxes at all.
In a letter to industry stakeholders, EPA has reconfirmed it is illegal to sell E15 to gasoline-only vehicles and engines until all regulatory issues have been resolved. However, EPA also reaffirmed the legality of offering properly labeled E15 and any other ethanol blend from E11 to E85 for use Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs).
As turmoil and violence rattle the Middle East and Northern Africa, the fragile American and worldwide economic recovery is being put into jeopardy as oil prices continue their climb over $100. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is voting on provisions that would limit use of the only widely available alternative to imported oil…Ethanol.
This morning at the 16th Annunal National Ethanol Conference, I will be giving the State of the Industry Address, dicussing the successes the ethanol industry has had and challenges that are in front of us.
In a recent post on The Hill's Congress Blog, I talk about the one year extension of the incentives for producing and using ethanol. With this extension, we need not worry about our short-term survival, and the American biofuels industry can take the long view and craft a comprehensive proposal that reflects fiscal realities as well as our nation’s energy needs. We hope our critics will respond in a similar spirit.
The Washington Post is reporting on a letter sent to Senate leadership from a group of senators urging an end to the ethanol tax incentive known as VEETC. Unfortunately, the letter ignores the economic and job creation that would be lost if America fails to continue its investment in ethanol and renewable fuels.
Members of Congress are often flooded with emails on various issues important to their constituents. It is easy to believe that those letters quickly find their way into the round file, but as a former Hill staffer, I can tell you that each letter is given the attention it deserves. For evidence, take a look at the response sent to RFA VP Geoff Cooper from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill on the importance of domestic biofuels. It goes show that it always pays to let your elected officials know what you think beyond the first the Tuesday after the first Monday in November every two years.