Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says everyone involved in the process of making ethanol, from farmers to fuel manufacturers to motorists, stands to see benefits from legislation taking shape this week.
Grassley says a "mark-up" of the portion of the energy bill that deals with taxes is underway this morning. He says the measure includes an extension of alternative energy and conservation incentives, along with clean coal provisions, from the 2005 energy bill.
"The tax package that will come out of the Finance Committee builds on what I worked for in 2005 as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for ethanol, wind, biodiesel and a lot of other renewables and conservation," Grassley says.
The bill would force electric power companies to use wind or solar sources to produce at least 15-percent of their electricity by 2020.
"The bill before us reflects the continuing energy needs for the 21st century. People need tax certainty to invest in infrastructure and keep production moving," Grassley says. "Production has to meet demand and alternative energy has never been in such demand as it is right now."
The energy bill is also expected to call for oil companies to mix billions more gallons of ethanol with regular gasoline in the coming years. It calls for the use of 36 billion gallons of eco-friendly fuel by 2022, about six times what’s now being used.
"It’s also important to recognize cutting-edge technology like what’s used in cellulosic and fossil-free ethanol production," he says. "With this tax package, public policy is keeping up with the technology."
Last year, Iowa plants produced about one-quarter of the nation’s ethanol. The state has about 25 ethanol plants in operation with 30 more planned or under construction.