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Harkin Applauds Senate Bipartisan Compromise on Renewable Energy

July 7, 2011

Harkin Applauds Senate Bipartisan Compromise on Renewable Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement upon learning that a bipartisan agreement has been reached that allows for a transition to a more sustainable model of incentives for domestic renewable fuel production while reducing the nation’s deficit by $1.3 billion.  The agreement, based on Senators Thune and Klobuchar’s bipartisan Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act, would end the existing 45 cent per gallon Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit on July 31, 2011, instead of the current expiration date of December 31, 2011. The bipartisan agreement would dedicate two-thirds of the savings from existing money – $1.3 billion – to debt reduction and the remaining $668 million in savings to renewable fuel incentives, helping provide consumers with lower gas prices. The compromise can now be considered by the full Senate.

Harkin is a senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“I commend my Senate colleagues and the ethanol industry for proposing this timely reform of federal ethanol policy. Inclusion of strong support for ethanol refueling infrastructure is especially important for expanding the contributions that ethanol is making to control gas prices, limit our imports of foreign oil and create green jobs in America.

“Contributions of domestic biofuels to our transportation fuel supplies have grown from a few percent in 2000 to about 10 percent today.  Those contributions far exceed gasoline offsets provided by any other alternative fuels.  Moreover, biofuels also are the most likely candidate to replace the next 10 percent, and more, of gasoline supplies.  We need to support that expansion, for our energy security, for cleaner air, and for domestic economic development, by making sure higher blends of ethanol are available and by expanding the vehicles that can use higher blends. I look forward to supporting enactment of this reform package as a critical part of that strategy.”