Growth Energy Urges Action in California and Congress

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy sent letters to the California Air Resources Board and members of Congress today to address issues that could impact the expansion of ethanol.

Growth EnergyIn California, Growth Energy is calling on the Air Resources Board (ARB) to reopen comments on the low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in light of undisclosed documents recently uncovered related to the rulemaking process.

Through a public records request, Growth Energy uncovered numerous previously undisclosed documents and comments from ARB consultants that cast doubt on ARB conclusions and others that appeared to influence ARB’s assumptions. Following the discovery, Growth Energy issued a letter to ARB, calling on them to reopen the public comment period and allow comment on all documents received by ARB in connection with the LCFS as mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). These include documents commenting on detailed environmental analyses of the LCFS developed by other corn ethanol stakeholders, including the Renewable Fuels Association and the New Fuels Alliance.

Meanwhile, on the national level, Growth Energy is asking Congress to fix a tax glitch in the program intended to promote the installation of pumps that dispense higher level ethanol blends. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit should allow fuel vendors to recapture up to $50,000, or 50 percent, of the total cost of installing alternative fuel dispensing systems but an IRS interpretation is only allowing retailers to take credit for a portion of the new pump, instead of the entire pump.

Legislation was introduced by Reps. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., and John Shimkus, R-Ill., to correct the IRS interpretation, but Growth Energy suggests making the technical correction in the 2009 tax extenders package.

Ethanol, Growth Energy