energy policy

Post image for More on the Cellulosic Ethanol “Mandate”

We recently posted about the EPA’s decision to reduce the cellulosic ethanol blending requirement from 500 million gallons in 2012 to somewhere between 3.45-12.9 million gallons, which is 0.69- 2.5 percent of the original “mandate.”

Via Greenwire ($ubscription required), we see that refiners are still required to purchase “credits” from EPA indicating that they are complying with the mandate, despite its impossibility:

The proposal fine-tunes blending mandates for 2012 called for by the federal renewable fuel standard, and EPA said yesterday it expects to require a total use of between 3.45 million and 12.9 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels next year. Officials said the final figure could come out to more or less than the 6.6 million gallons required in 2011.

Charles Drevna, president of NPRA, said given that EPA’s own data show the ethanol industry has produced no qualifying fuel in the past year, the requirement for blenders to either use the fuel or pay EPA about $1 per gallon for a credit makes no sense. [click to continue…]

Post image for The Future of Ethanol Policy

As was widely reported, the Senate voted last week on a bill that would terminate the ethanol tax credit and corresponding tariff. While many were excited by the prospect of finally moving towards better energy policy, it seems likely that things will still get worse before they get better. The ethanol industry does not seem worried.

Consider the following: John McCain (R-AZ) offered additional legislation, while the Senate was voting down the tax credit, that would have ended federal subsidies for ethanol fuel pumps at gas stations. This was voted down 41-59:

“It lost because of the influence of the ethanol lobby,” McCain said on Fox News Thursday, alleging ethanol “is probably the greatest rip-off that I’ve seen since P.T. Barnum.

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Post image for Ethanol: Coburn, ATR, WSJ

There is an ongoing ethanol spat between Senator Coburn (R-OK) and Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. The dispute is over conservative support for a bill that would repeal the ethanol tax credit, which has the effect of raising an industry specific tax. Americans for Tax Reform comes down hard on any effort to increase taxes. The Wall Street Journal added their two cents in favor of Senator Coburn:

Our readers know Mr. Norquist as the plucky author of the no-new-taxes pledge, which has helped to make tax increases a red line in Republican politics. In a letter to Mr. Coburn, a deputy of Mr. Norquist writes: “Repealing the ethanol credit is the right thing to do, but other taxes must be reduced in the same legislation by at least this much to prevent a net tax increase.”

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The Spin Zone

by Ryan Lynch on April 20, 2010

in Blog, videos

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