Texas Cuts Biofules Incentives

John Davis

Texas flagSurprise, surprise… petroleum giant Texas has cut some of the state’s incentives to biofuels makers.

The Dallas Morning News reports that lawmakers in the state legislature removed funding for biodiesel and ethanol because some complained that they were competing with the state’s petroleum industry. But some lawmakers see the move as short sighted:

swinford1.bmpRep. David Swinford, a Republican lawmaker from West Texas who wrote the original legislation, said Texas was betting the state’s future on “a depleting entity” by ignoring alternative fuels.

He said the program was meant to spur an industry in Texas, where “we did not get one [ethanol] plant in 10 years.”

“We have been subsidizing oil and gas in Texas for a long time, and I voted for it,” Mr. Swinford said. “But the federal government is saying, ‘We want everybody to go and do these things – we are willing to give incentives.’ It would be like Texas having its head in the ground … to say, ‘We don’t want to do that.’ “

The move is already causing some renewable fuel plant builders to reconsider plans for refineries in Texas, and it has drawn the ire of biofuel advocates:

“We can’t dally for a whole lot longer if we expect to have an industry in this state,” said Russel E. Smith, executive director of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association. “You have to lay the groundwork for producing the fuels in a state and help stimulate the market for them.”

Meanwhile, other states and the federal government seem to be going in the other direction… with no time to wait and see if Texas catches up.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, News