Grassley, Conrad Seek Extension of Several Ethanol Tax Incentives

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) have introduced legislation (S 3231) that would extend through 2015 the volumetric ethanol excise tax credit (blenders' credit); the small ethanol producers tax credit; the cellulosic producers tax credit; and the ethanol import tariff. Both senators are members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) have introduced legislation (S 3231) that would extend through 2015 the volumetric ethanol excise tax credit (blenders' credit); the small ethanol producers tax credit; the cellulosic producers tax credit; and the ethanol import tariff. Both senators are members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.

On the House side, Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) introduced companion legislation (HR 4940) in March.

In a statement, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen called extension of the tax subsidies for the ethanol industry "sound public policies by any economic, environmental or energy measure." He added that ethanol is "lowering the price of gasoline, reducing imports of foreign oil, and helping stabilize and reinvigorate rural economies all across the country."

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) criticized what it called the "elaborate system of subsides and trade barriers that make sugarcane ethanol more expensive and nearly unavailable in the US," and charged that US ethanol producers "appear determined to avoid healthy market-based competition.

"At a time when US ethanol exports are at a record high, the industry continues to ask for government bailouts, this time to the tune of $30 billion," said UNICA in a statement. "After 30 years of subsidies and import taxes, American consumers deserve clean fuels at a market-based price," it added.

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