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Published February 27, 2012, 10:18 AM

Include E85 in Alternative Fuel Credit

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for E85, a group of retailers, producers and equipment manufacturers, has issued a call to action to members, retailers and other supporters of E85 to contact their senators and representatives and urge them to support the inclusion of E85 in the Alternative Fuel Credit in the tax extenders package currently under review.

By: Coalition for E85, Agweek

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for E85, a group of retailers, producers and equipment manufacturers, has issued a call to action to members, retailers and other supporters of E85 to contact their senators and representatives and urge them to support the inclusion of E85 in the Alternative Fuel Credit in the tax extenders package currently under review.

In coordination with this effort, members of the Coalition for E85 planned to be in Washington to meet with their congressional members to explain why support for E85 is important to jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Shirley Ball of Nashua, Mont., executive director of Ethanol Producers and Consumers, will be in Washington and has meetings with Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester.

Effect on prices

In the weeks after the expiration of the ethanol tax credit, fuel retailers and drivers of flex-fuel vehicles are feeling the effects of increased prices on E85. Congress’ inaction on extending the credit meant retailers of E85 were hit with a 38-cent increase on each gallon sold. The small, independent retailers who make up the majority of E85 sales have limited ability to offset the price change, and as a result, have had to pass the difference along to consumers.

E85 is defined as an alternative fuel everywhere in the U.S. code, except in the Internal Revenue Code. Amending the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit to include E85 would give the fuel the same tax status as other alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas and propane. This inclusion, along with an extension of the credit, would support the investment of thousands of small business owners across the country in alternative fuel retail infrastructure, while helping to increase the market for biofuels made from nonfood sources such as farming byproducts and household waste.

“With the potential to provide 12 million American drivers with a clean fuel option, this is an affordable common-sense approach to reducing our foreign petroleum dependency while supporting development of next-generation biofuels,” says Todd Garner, CEO of Protec Fuel. “Recognizing E85 as the most widely used alternative fuel protects American jobs and recognizes the investment that millions of flex-fuel drivers have made in supporting home- grown clean fuels.”

Coalition: act now

The coalition urges supporters of E85 and the small retailers who have been affected by the expiration of the ethanol tax credit to act now, before it’s too late.

“We ask you to contact your representatives and senators and request that they support E85’s inclusion in the extenders package,” says coalition member Phil Lampert. ”Now is the time to act, as negotiations in Washington could impact the future of alternative fuels across the country.”

Information: www.CoalitionForE85.org.

Editor’s Note: The Coalition for E85 is a group of retailers, producers, equipment manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and other supporters of E85 fuel. Its mission is to undertake an immediate and targeted effort to secure a tax credit for E85 fuel in response to impending cuts to current incentives.

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