Hoeven: Diverse Energy Portfolio Essential to America's Energy Future and Economic Growth

Senator Backs Bill To Reform Incentives for Domestic Energy, Provide For Deficit Reduction and Biofuels Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today stressed the importance of promoting all of our nation’s energy resources on the Senate floor and announced his support for S.1185, the Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act.  This bipartisan bill would reform incentives for domestic energy production to create a better environment for the renewable energy industry and use savings to reduce the deficit. 

“The discussion today is how to best create the right environment to stimulate private investment, so we have a growing economy, more jobs and more energy, but we also reduce government spending,” said Hoeven.  “That’s why I have sponsored legislation that will reform the ethanol tax credit. It will provide deficit reduction and set us on the right path for alternative fuel development in our country for the long run.” 

The Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act would end the existing 45 cent per gallon Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) on July 1, 2011, and replace it with supports that are indexed with the price of oil. The bill would also invest $1.5 billion of the savings back into the biofuels industry with an additional $1 billion in savings would be dedicated to reducing the nation’s deficit.  

“It’s the right way to transition from the current VEETC,” said Hoeven. “This is the right transition for us to make from the VEETC to creating an environment that will stimulate private investment and energy growth in biofuels for the future.” 

Specifically, the bill would promote a better environment for the renewable energy industry through incentives for the installation of blender pumps and the development of cellulosic and second generation ethanol.   

Combining blender pumps, flex-fuel vehicles and common-sense federal regulations that encourage higher fuel blends would create a business climate that will foster growth in the ethanol industry and eliminate the need for on-going ethanol supports. A growing ethanol industry will also create good jobs, produce more domestic energy and bring in greater tax revenues to help with the nation’s deficit. This market-based approach to the ethanol industry would allow customers to choose their biofuel blends and ultimately reduce fuel costs for Americans.  

“This is the right way to approach job creation and energy development for our country,” Hoeven said. “We are reducing costs and creating the environment for private sector investment and growth.” 

Hoeven is an original cosponsor of the legislation, which was introduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).