ACE Urges State Lawmakers to Take Action for Ethanol in 2009
by Shannon Gustafson
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) reached out to every Governor and state legislator in the United States, asking them to take progressive action on behalf of biofuels in this year’s legislative session. ACE’s letter, timed to reach the influx of new legislators who will take office in 2009, outlines a variety of legislative opportunities including infrastructure incentives, renewable fuels standard, splash blending, and more.
The letter urges state lawmakers to promote cost-effective fuel choices for consumers, restore meaningful competition in the motor fuels market, and support domestic renewable fuels that reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
“In 2009, states can be in the driver’s seat of taking action on behalf of ethanol,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of ACE. “ACE is ready to work hand-in-hand with Governors and legislators to drive beneficial biofuels legislation at the state level.”
ACE Recommendation: Expand E85 infrastructure assistance to also cover blender pumps
Many states have programs to provide financial support to retailers installing pumps that dispense E85. ACE recommended to state lawmakers that any support of E85 pumps be extended to cover blender pumps that can dispense E10 for standard vehicles as well as E20, E30, E85 or other blends for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). Blender pumps are the most efficient and effective way to make more environmentally friendly, homegrown ethanol available to consumers.
ACE Recommendation: Protect splash blending
ACE encourages states to follow North and South Carolina’s lead by passing legislation to protect splash blending, the petroleum marketer’s ability to purchase gasoline and ethanol separately to blend their own E10. This prevents oil companies from overcharging and allows marketers to make the most cost-effective fuel available to their customers.
Efforts by some major oil interests to mandate the purchase of pre-blended fuel puts branded gasoline retailers at a competitive disadvantage with their unbranded competitors who are able to “splash blend,” and ultimately, this oil company practice means marketers have no cost or tax savings to pass on to consumers and little incentive to add ethanol in areas where it is not available.
ACE Recommendation: Enact a state renewable fuels standard
Many states have enacted Renewable Fuels Standards to outline the increasing use of renewables like ethanol. To date, nine states have some type of RFS, including: Minnesota, Montana, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington. Renewable Fuels Standards at the state level can help drive local ethanol markets, improving the balance of the state’s renewable versus non-renewable fuel use.
Many other types of biofuel incentives have been successfully implemented by states, including pump incentives, labeling laws, production incentives, research and development incentives and tax credits, feedstock production incentives, research programs, and much more. The ACE letter encouraged state leaders to take action on these important issues.
State leaders wanting more details on these legislative action priorities can contact ACE’s Brian Jennings or Shannon Gustafson at (605) 334-3381.
Grassroots ethanol advocates – visit Ethanol.org and click on the “Get Involved” tab for ideas on how you can take action to help drive ethanol forward in your state.