A bill that aims to strengthen the ethanol industry was introduced Tuesday in the U-S Senate. Nebraska is the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, behind only Iowa.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is co-sponsoring the ethanol bill which he says is designed to build our country’s energy security and create jobs. Grassley, a Republican, calls it a bipartisan bill, which he authored with Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota.
Grassley says, “Our bill would extend four policies for ethanol production through 2015 including the ethanol excise tax credit.” The bill also includes a tax credit for small ethanol producers, a tax credit for cellulosic producers and an ethanol import tariff.
Grassley says the corn-based fuel has become a vital, renewable element in the economies of our state and our nation. “We know that biofuels offer quite an alternative to foreign oil and they generate economic activity in the United States,” Grassley says. “Today, ethanol makes up almost 10% of the U.S. fuel supply.”
He says the lapse of a similar tax credit for biodiesel, which expired at the end of 2009, cost 29-thousand jobs and has put 23-thousand more jobs at risk. Grassley says they can’t risk a repeat with ethanol.
“A recent independent study found that the failure to extend this tax credit and the secondary tariff would result in the loss of about 112,000 jobs nationwide and would reduce ethanol production by about 40%,” Grassley says.
He says ethanol is good for America’s rural economies and it replaces oil that would otherwise be imported from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela.