Diverse coalition calls on Congress to maintain policy support

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012

A coalition of biofuels, environmental and agriculture groups that rarely come together on the same issue yesterday called on Congress to hold firm on policy incentivizing the production of advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

In a letter to Senate and House leaders, the coalition of nine groups also urged Congress to reform energy tax incentives to level the playing field among traditional industries and renewable alternatives.

“Providing a stable policy landscape will assure a robust build-out of advanced and cellulosic biofuels,” the groups wrote, “and ensure continued U.S. leadership in the global clean energy marketplace.”

Signing the letter were executives from the Great Plains Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council, American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council, Advanced Biofuels Association and Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The spread of groups on the letter is unusual, as the use of corn in ethanol production has often pitted environmental groups against ethanol organizations.

Here, both are urging Congress to resist attempts to open or dismantle the renewable fuel standard, the federal mandate that requires the country to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. They also are urging leaders to extend two tax credits that expire at the end of the year: the production tax credit for cellulosic biofuels and the accelerated depreciation allowance for cellulosic biofuel facilities.