Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) renewed his commitment to Congress renewing the biodiesel tax incentive… while he took a shot at the Grocery Manufacturers Association for what he says is a smear campaign by the group against biofuels. Grassley’s comments come on the heels of Tuesday’s vote, when the U.S. Senate came up just eight votes short of cloture to end debate on extending the $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax credit.
Speaking to National Biodiesel Board members at their meeting in Washington, DC today, Grassley stressed just how important biodiesel is for America’s environment, economy and energy security.
“We ought to keep the dollars in the United States rather than send them over to the Arabs to shoot back at us.” In his capacity as the Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, he reiterated his desire to work in a bipartisan manner to pass an extender package that includes the biodiesel tax incentive.
Senator Grassley was also critical of the anti-biofuels public relations campaign that is being waged by the GMA. He noted that only one chief executive officer from the grocery industry, out of 15 invited, has accepted the invitation to meet with him and Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer to discuss the GMA’s multi-million dollar campaign to discredit biofuels.
“The biggest culprit behind the rising food cost is $135 barrel oil,” he said. “This campaign is led by an organization that should be a loyal member of the food chain. Instead, they are making biofuels the scapegoat to defend their own bottom line. The truth is that America’s family farmers are producing more food, and fuel, than ever before.”
“Lifting the biofuels incentives won’t ease food prices,” Grassley said. “By using less biofuel, we will in fact lift food prices. Who are they trying to kid?”