Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Harkin and Lugar Introduce Tax Change for Ethanol Pipelines

Senator Tom Harkin ethanol pipelineU.S. Senators Tom Harkin (IA) and Richard Lugar (IN) introduced legislation last week, S. 3291 (pdf), to help bring ethanol to communities across America by giving pipeline owners the same tax benefits they receive for moving petroleum products.

While the most efficient mode for transporting liquid biofuels is by pipeline, a provision in the tax code is effectively blocking Publicly Traded Partnerships (PTP) – that build and operate most liquid pipelines – from moving forward. By law, PTPs are supposed to earn 90 percent of their income from the exploration, transportation, storage, or marketing of depletable natural resources, including oil, gas, and coal, but not renewable fuels.

Senator Richard Lugar ethanol pipelineThe Harkin-Lugar bill would change the tax code to state that PTPs can earn “qualified” income from the transport, storage, or marketing of any renewable liquid fuel approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We must seize control of our energy future and shift rapidly and robustly to clean, home-grown sources of energy, including ethanol and other renewable fuels.

Our bill makes a simple change to the tax code that meets the demands and realities of the 21st century energy marketplace, removing barriers so that biofuels producers in the Midwest and elsewhere will have an efficient, inexpensive way to transport these renewable fuels to the market.

And it will continue to provide relief to consumers getting hit hard with rising fuel costs.” said Harkin.

We must explore every option for reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Overcoming problems in moving ethanol through pipelines, as Brazil has done, is important in developing the full promise of America’s renewable fuels.

This legislation will help determine U.S. infrastructure planning and development,” Lugar said.
Harkin and Lugar previously have partnered together on several efforts to boost ethanol transport by pipeline. In March 2007, the two introduced The Ethanol Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2007, directing the Department of Energy to conduct a feasibility study on transporting ethanol by pipeline. The measure was included in the energy bill that became law on December 19, 2007. An expanded version of that measure was also included in the farm bill, the Food Conservation and Energy Act, which became law on May 22, 2008.

Source: Senator Tom Harkin

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