Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, issued the following statement after Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., introduced a bipartisan bill to extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) and ethanol tariff for five years and the cellulosic tax credit for three years, all at current levels.
"Extending these measures will ensure job growth and economic development across the entire country—all while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and cleaning our skies,” Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said. "If we let the tariff and VEETC expire, it would drain both hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars right out of our economy.”
The Senate bill mirrors bipartisan legislation that was introduced in the House in March by Reps. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., and John Shimkus, R-Ill. Pomeroy serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, while in the Senate, both Grassley and Conrad serve on the tax-writing Finance Committee, giving the bipartisan legislation a strong advantage in the Congress.
Buis cited a University of Missouri study which found that allowing the tariff to lapse would force job losses of 39,506 in the first year, 115,624 in the second year, and 161,384 in the third year – with job losses continuing year-to-year and never regaining. The decline in economic activity was calculated at $9.2 billion in the first year, $26.4 billion in the second year, and $36,651 in the third year.
"Removing the tariff will do nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil; all it will do is replace domestically-produced ethanol and eliminate U.S. jobs. It would essentially replace our nation's addiction to foreign oil with a dependence on foreign ethanol – and that is not in the best interests of our nation.”
"Extending the tax credits will benefit American motorists in the form of lower gas prices at the pump. At a time when unemployment is at a staggering 10 percent, these savings will make a real difference for families on a budget,” Buis added.
Buis cited preliminary results of a new Growth Energy-commissioned study on the impact of the VEETC shows that the U.S. taxpayer sees a $19.2 billion annual return for investing in the tax credit. The study, conducted by the Windmill Group, found that a $5.8 billion VEETC investment created $17 billion in federal tax revenue and saved $8 billion from farm program payments, as well as contributing $92 billion to the national economy.
"We commend Senators Grassley and Conrad for recognizing the need for this vital extension. Extending the tariff and the tax credit will ensure a cleaner, more secure energy future for America. We are pleased to have been able to work with them on this important legislation and we will continue to support this bill through the legislative process,” Buis said.
About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America's economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.