AFBF: Lame Ducks Could be Pretty Lame for Ethanol, Biodiesel

John Davis

The American Farm Bureau Federation isn’t expecting too much from the lame duck session of Congress, particularly when it comes to renewal of the federal biodiesel and ethanol tax credits.

“I think the lame duck session will be pretty lame,” said Mary Kay Thatcher, Director of Policy at AFBF, during an interview with our own Cindy Zimmerman during the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasters Trade Talk session in Kansas City, Mo.

While she says members of Congress will kick the budget to the next Congress coming in after the first of the year by passing a continuing resolution and will at least temporarily extend some of the Bush tax cuts before they expire on January 1st, she’s not as optimistic about the green fuels’ chances.

“I hope we add on ethanol and biodiesel as part of [those expiring credits], [but] I’m probably less optimistic that happens than I am the others because of the economy. But I think we can get those [biodiesel and ethanol] credits extended. It’ll be short term … six months, maybe a year … and then the new Congress will have to figure out where do you get the money to pay for that stuff.”

Thatcher says the biofuels tax credits will be a big topic of discussion when the AFBF holds its 92nd Annual Meeting, Jan. 9-12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia … just as the new Congress comes into session in Washington. She admits the ethanol tax credit could end up taking a hit from some of the new fiscal hawks elected this year. Thatcher does believe that farmers and biofuel producers will be helped by the fact that Republicans have taken control of Congress, and thus, taken control of the purse strings of the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies that have put up roadblocks. And that could ease some of the restrictions the government has put on the two industries in the past few years.

Listen to more of Cindy’s interview with Mary Kay here: Mary Kay Thatcher, AFBF

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Legislation, News