The only action remaining before the ethanol industry has the best holiday present of the season is President Obama’s signature. In what could literally be defined as the 25th hour, Congress passed the tax bill on Thursday that included a one-year tax extension for several key ethanol tax incentives. In the most heated subsidy debate in history, ethanol was the victor on the hill.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said of the victory, “House members have struck a blow to the oil status quo and extended important tax policies that will allow America’s ethanol industry to grow and evolve. Domestic ethanol production helps create jobs and economic opportunity in often overlooked rural communities. Domestic ethanol production reduces America’s tab to petro-dictators across the globe. There is no alternative to gasoline available today that can match ethanol’s energy security and economic benefits.”
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) was one of several organizations that worked to ensure that the ethanol incentives remained in place. ACE’s Executive Vice President, Brian Jennings, said of the tax bill, “When it became apparent a long-term extension of VEETC was unlikely in Congress, ACE began actively working with the White House, Congress, and other groups to unite behind a plan to reform the ethanol tax incentives. This one-year extension will provide the ethanol industry the opportunity we asked for to continue identifying the best long-term roadmap for the tax credit and overall ethanol policy reforms.”
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis added, “This vote today will provide certainty in the market and give us a chance to work with Congress and the Administration to enact longer term tax policy reforms that will level the playing field in the fuels market. The infrastructure build out proposed in our Fueling Freedom proposal will help open the market to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve our environment, create U.S. jobs that can’t be outsourced and strengthen our national security.”