Johnson: Bill Would Provide Certainty For Ethanol Industry

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), a member of the Senate Energy Committee, is a cosponsor of legislation introduced today, the Domestic Energy Promotion Act of 2011. The legislation’s purpose is to increase homegrown sources of energy, provide certainty on the future of ethanol tax credits and spur investments in South Dakota and across the country. The legislation updates ethanol tax policy to ensure that renewable fuels continue to play a large part in moving America away from foreign sources of energy.

“I’ve cosponsored this bipartisan bill and other legislation to ensure we have options to provide support for promoting domestically produced renewable fuels,” said Johnson. “These are tough budget times but efforts to end the ethanol tax credit are shortsighted and bad for our economic security.”

The Domestic Energy Promotion Act of 2011 would bring an end to the uncertainty surrounding the future of ethanol tax credits by modifying and extending the blenders’ credit through 2016. The bill would set the credit at 20 cents per gallon in 2012 and 15 cents per gallon in 2013, before implementing a variable rate tied to oil prices for the next three years. The legislation also extends alternative fueling infrastructure tax credits, as well as the cellulosic ethanol tax credit through 2016 at the current rate of $1.01 per gallon.

“The energy subsidies that need to be cut are for the oil and gas industries with billions in quarterly profits,” said Johnson. “Help is needed for the domestic biofuels industry that reduces foreign oil imports. Increasing the production and use of ethanol means more jobs nationally and in South Dakota.”

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Johnson has supported legislation to strengthen markets for South Dakota’s ethanol facilities and promote homegrown, renewable sources of energy. Since the beginning of this Congress, Johnson has pushed multiple pieces of legislation promoting renewable fuels to ensure that it remains a priority on Capitol Hill.

“Investing in ethanol and biomass is investing in the renewable fuels of today and tomorrow,” said Johnson. “Our budget priorities must reflect this fact.”

Earlier this year, Johnson also introduced the Securing America’s Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies Act, which focuses on developing and deploying safe, reliable domestically grown and produced energy. The bill establishes strong renewable energy and energy-efficiency standards, incentives for developing biofuels and biofuel infrastructure, and targets for the availability of advanced vehicle technologies.

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