The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) today warned Senate leaders that an abrupt end to the current ethanol tax incentive known as VEETC would destabilize the current ethanol industry and the progress of new ethanol technologies. 

“Maintaining stability in the ethanol industry, including, but not limited to tax policy, is critical to the development and commercialization of advanced ethanol fuels,” wrote AEC Executive Director Brooke Coleman in a letterto Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the letter, Coleman expressed disappointment that similar budget concern is not being shown about the billions of taxpayer dollars oil companies receive. “It is unfortunate that in the face of the U.S. ethanol industry’s remarkable progress to date, Senators Coburn and Feinstein want to terminate one of the nation’s most successful renewable energy tax policies, and do so in mid-fiscal year without taking a similar approach to oil subsidies,” Coleman wrote.

Sending clear signal

“The clear signal sent to the investment community is that the U.S. commitment to the continued evolution of the biofuels industry is tenuous.”

Additionally, Coleman pointed to the combined efforts of lawmakers and the entire ethanol industry — existing producers and emerging technologies — to responsibly address budget concerns and transform current ethanol tax policy as the productive and thoughtful approach needed.

“While the ethanol industry itself recognizes the need to reform ethanol tax policy, and continues to work with Senators Grassley, Thune, Klobuchar and others on a forward-thinking transition away from the current program, passage of the Coburn/Feinstein proposal would destabilize the existing industry and derail a bipartisan effort to more aggressively promote advanced ethanol development and commercialization,” Coleman wrote.

“We recognize there is broad-based political support for reforming ethanol tax policy,” Coleman concluded. “Both the existing and advanced ethanol industries are committed to updating and reducing the cost of U.S. ethanol tax incentives. We encourage you to reject the proposal offered by Senators Coburn and Feinstein, and hope that you will work with those who are trying to improve rather than terminate a program that has been critical to the U.S. energy portfolio.”

About the Advanced Ethanol Council:The AEC represents worldwide leaders in the effort to develop and commercialize next generation ethanol fuels.

In partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association, the AEC is focused on developing and implementing responsible policies that accelerate the commercialization of advanced ethanol technologies and expands the market for ethanol use. The founding members of the AEC are: Abengoa Bioenergy, BlueFire Renewables, Coskata, Enerkem, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inbicon, Iogen, Mascoma, Osage Bio Energy and Qteros.