Biofuel Legislation Introduced Since EPAct 2005
Truly, corporate welfare is an addictionan unhealthy appetite that grows with feeding. Not content with the biofuels mandate and tax preferences enacted in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, numerous Members of Congress have subsequently introduced legislation to expand biofuel industry profits and market share. Here's a short list:
New Options Petroleum Energy Conservation Act of 2006 (H.R. 5375). Introduced: May 11, 2006. Sponsors:Lungren (R-CA) and Costa (D-CA). Provides full expensing for tax purposes of investment in property used for biofuel production.
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Bioenergy Innovation Option Fuel Utilization and Energy Legacy (BIOFUEL) Act of 2006 (H.R. 5372). Introduced: May 11, 2006. Sponsor: Herseth (D-SD).
- Requires an increase in "renewable fuels" as a percentage of light duty (non-diesel) motor fuel as follows: 2009 (6%), 2010 (7%), 2011 (9%), 2012 (11%), 2013 (14%), 2014 (17%), 2015 (20%).
- Requires an increase in biodiesel fuel as a percentage of diesel fuel as follows: 2009 (1%), 2010 (2%), 2011 (3%), 2012 (5%), 2013 (7%), 2014 (10%), 2015 (15%).
- Requires an increase in the percentage of flex-fuel (E-85-capable) vehicles available for sale as follows: 2008 (10%), 2009 (20%), 2010 (30%), 2011 (40%), 2012 (5O%), 2013 (75%).
- Requires the Secretary of Energy to mandate installation of E-85 fuel pumps in areas with 15% or more penetration of flex-fuel vehicles.
- Authorizes up to $250 million annually in low-interest loans to farmers to convert agricultural commodities into fuel.
Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005 (H.R. 4409). Introduced: November 18, 2005. Sponsor: Kingston (R-GA).
- Requires Secretary of Energy to produce detailed action plans to ensure 10% of the nation's fuel supply comes from sources other than petroleum by 2015 and 20% by 2025.
- Requires the Secretary to produce a plan to ensure that 10% of the nation's motor fuel comes from ethanol by 2015, with at least 60% made from domestic resources.
- Increases from 30% to 50% the tax credit for the purchase of alternative vehicle refueling property.
- In counties where 10% of registered vehicles are capable of using E-85, requires service stations with 10 or more pumps to designate 10% as alternative fuel pumps.
- Requires the Secretary of Transportation to remit 90% of penalties for automakers' non-compliance with corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards to a newly established Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Trust Fund.
- Requires an increase in the quantity of cellulosic biomass in the nation's fuel supply as follows: 2008 (30 million gallons), 2009 (45 mg), 2010 (75 mg), 2011 (120 mg), 2012 (180 mg), 2013 (250 mg), 2014 (500 mg), 2015 (1000 mg), 2016 and thereafter (the same percentage of national fuel supply as achieved in 2015).
Progress Act (H.R. 5965). Introduced: July 28, 2006. Sponsor: Hoyer (D-MD). Among ther provisions, the bill:
- Establishes a National Commission on Energy Security and Transition to New Fuels to develop a schedule for achieving energy independence over the next 5, 10, 15, and 20 years.
- Vests the Commission with the power to subpoena witnesses and hold hearings.
- Requires the Commission to issue a report with recommendations to the President. The President must transmit a response to Congress of either an approval or disapproval of the Commission's recommendations, with an explanation for each disapproval. Federal agencies must carry out each recommendation approved by the President, unless vetoed by a joint resolution of the House and Senate.
- Establishes a Manhattan Center (modeled on the Manhattan Project) to "bring national attention to the need for energy independence and to bring the United States beyond it's reliance on gasoline."
- Authorizes $200 million annually during FYs 2007-2011 for a newly established biofuels grant program. Directs the Secretary of Energy to award grants up to 33% of estimated expenses or $180,000 per recipient to retail and wholesale motor fuel dealers and other entities "for the installation, replacement, or conversion of motor fuel storage and dispensing infrastructure to be used exclusively to store and dispense biobased fuel" as well as "equipment used in the blending, distribution, and transport of such fuels."
- Requires the Secretary of Energy to issue regulations to provide for celluosic ethanol production loan guarantees.
- Authorizes $500 million grants in FY 2009 and FY 2010 for cellulosic ethanol production.
Ethanol Stimulus Act of 2006 (S. 3840). Introduced: September 5, 2006. Sponsor: Schumer (D-NY).
- Expands the small ethanol producer tax credit [Section 40(b)4 of the IRS Code of 1986] from 10 cents a gallon to 20 cents a gallon.
- Expands eligibility for small producer tax credit from 15 million gallons per year to 50 million gallons per year.
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