Missouri Senators Take Strong Stance In Support Of Renewable Fuels

Posted on: June 14, 2011

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)– The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) today applauds the strong support of Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for voting in unison against an amendment submitted by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to immediately repeal the federal ethanol tax credit.  In addition to defeating the anti-ethanol amendment, Missouri’s senators have signed on as co-sponsors of the Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act introduced yesterday by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“We want to thank Missouri’s senators for their strong leadership in stopping Sen. Coburn’s anti-ethanol antics and moving new domestic energy policies forward,” says MCGA CEO Gary Marshall.  “Not only is ethanol adding to the federal budget through economic development and tax revenue, we are fighting to keep American jobs and dollars here at home instead of sending them overseas.  If Sen. Coburn was serious about lowering the federal budget, he would stop his political posturing and propose eliminating the billions of dollars in oil subsidies.”   

The Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act, supported by Sens. McCaskill and Blunt, would end the current ethanol tax incentive given to petroleum marketers on July 1 and replace it with a variable tax credit tied to the price of oil.  It would also extend the small producer ethanol credit through 2014.  The legislation is projected to generate a savings of $2.5 billion with $1 billion dedicated to deficit reduction and $1.5 billion to ethanol infrastructure.

“This is proactive domestic energy policy aimed at reducing our nation’s deficit while revitalizing energy infrastructure,” says MCGA President Kenny McNamar, a corn and cattle farmer from Gorin, Mo.  “The Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act is a solid compromise for moving the ethanol industry forward in a crumbling budget environment and establishing a new pathway for the continued production of Missouri-made fuel.”  
This proposal comes after months of discussions within the corn and ethanol industries to reform the existing Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) included in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.  The Thune-Klobuchar bill introduced yesterday establishes a variable tax credit that is triggered when oil prices drop below $90 dollars per barrel, providing no credit when oil prices are high and a limited credit when oil prices are low.

“Missouri corn growers can be proud that our senators understand, fully support and are committed to reducing our country’s addiction to foreign oil through the continued use of renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol,” McNamar said.

Missouri is home to six majority farmer-owned ethanol plants with production capacity exceeding 280 million gallons annually.  To learn more about Missouri’s growing corn and ethanol industries, visit www.mocorn.org.

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