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June 18, 2010
Senate Action Leaves Biodiesel Industry in the Lurch As Doctors Are Protected
JOHNSTON, IA – In response to the U.S. Senate’s latest failed effort to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive this week, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Past President and Western Iowa Energy Board Member Denny Mauser issued the following statement:
“As the U.S. Senate continues to tinker with the tax extenders package, biodiesel plants in Iowa and around the country remain idle and continue to lay-off workers. The President stated on Tuesday that he would not settle for inaction on tackling America’s addiction to fossil fuels, but that is exactly what happened. The Senate failed once again to jumpstart the proven petroleum-displacing ability of America’s first advanced biofuel. By restoring the biodiesel tax incentive, one billion gallons of renewable fuel can begin displacing crude oil immediately.”
Further complicating the process, the Senate today passed legislation by unanimous consent to prevent Medicare doctors from receiving a 21 percent pay cut starting next week. This “doc fix” provision was cherry-picked out of the tax extenders bill.
“It took one hundred senators to agree to the doc fix,” Mauser continued. “While I understand that is important, how can the biodiesel industry be left in the lurch as a million or more gallons of crude oil continue to spew into the Gulf waters each day? Any one senator could have stood up and said, ‘Let’s end the pay cuts and job losses for workers in the biodiesel industry at the same time as we pass the doctor pay-cut fix.’ After six months of devastating inaction, it’s past time for that type of Senate leadership.”
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 39 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.3 billion gallons annually. In addition, Iowa has 14 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 320 million gallons annually.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.
For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org