Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that he introduced Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Ethanol Stimulus Act of 2006 in the House. The bill, H.R. 6212, would provide tax credits for ethanol plants in the four states which consume more than 2% of US gasoline, but produce less than 2% of US ethanol, known as two-two states (New York, Texas, California and Florida). Western New York would be specifically impacted by this bill, by encouraging ethanol production in the area which would increase jobs, and by promoting lesser known ethanol sources, like wood biomass, which grows easily in the area and could be a new important crop to local farmers.
The bill would provide tax credits for ethanol plants in the four states which consume more than 2% of US gasoline, but produce less than 2% of US ethanol, known as two-two states (New York, Texas, California and Florida). Western New York would be specifically impacted by this bill, by encouraging ethanol production in the area which would increase jobs, and by promoting lesser known ethanol sources, like woody biomass, which grows easily in the area and could be a new important crop to local farmers. In August, Schumer visited the RiverWright Ethanol Project and unveiled his new ethanol tax credit legislation (S. 3840), which he introduced the following week.
“High gas prices strangle wallets and hamper economic development,” said Higgins. “Dependence on foreign oil threatens national security, puts our soldiers at risk, and enriches the coffers of regimes that would do us harm. Oil is not a renewable commodity and harnessing our current traditional energy sources has often greatly damaged our environment. Ethanol is a real and safe fuel alternative, and Western New York is prime for benefiting from the ethanol tax credits proposed in this bill because of our great access to crops needed to produce ethanol. We are poised to be a new center of ethanol production—great strides are being made along the Buffalo River, setting the stage for our region to become a leader in ethanol manufacturing. I applaud Senator Schumer for his incredible foresight in recognizing the benefits these ethanol tax credits would have in our region, and I look forward to working with him on this exciting initiative.”
“This summer we have had near record high gas prices in Western New York,” Senator Schumer said. “New Yorkers are getting hit harder than most Americans at the gas pump. The bottom line is, in order to solve this problem we need encourage more domestic production of ethanol in states like ours that don’t produce but do use ethanol. The RiverWright ethanol project will bring cutting edge technology and put Western New York at the forefront of ethanol and next generation fuels production in the Northeast. This is a win-win-win for the region and will pave the way for new jobs, use our own local crops and bring down the price at the pump.”
RiverWright Energy LLC, a Buffalo-based alternative fuel company, will be building an $80 million ethanol production project along the Buffalo River. The project will be located on a 23-acre parcel along the Buffalo River, and will include 20 buildings. When the plant is up and running – in about a year – it is expected to produce 110 million gallons of ethanol annually and to create 65 full-time jobs. RiverWright will lead the way in Western New York’s ethanol production, while also revitalizing the Buffalo River and waterfront areas.
The Ethanol Stimulus Act of 2006 would:
o Expand upon the small producer credit for ethanol in last year’s energy bill.
o Would apply to new facilities; those in contract/construction after the enactment of the energy bill, in two-two states.
o Small producers in these states would receive a credit of 20 cents per gallon of ethanol produced, up to 50 million gallons a year, as long as total annual production does not exceed 150 million gallons.
o To be eligible for the new credit, the contract must have been entered into or construction begun on or before August 8, 2010 (five years from date of enactment of the energy bill).
o A production facility is eligible for the credit for the first taxable year in which it is on line, plus four additional years for a total of five years.