Biofuels are an important part of Minnesota's rural economy and our state's transition to homegrown, renewable energy. Minnesota has led the country in this sector, and Senator Franken strongly supports policies that will keep the industry growing. He supports the swift approval of E15 ethanol-blended gasoline and wants to enact a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax credit, which is essential for the day-to-day operations of Minnesota biodiesel producers. He also supported H.R.4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act, which included important biofuels provisions, including a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit and a one-year extension of the ethanol tax credit.
At the same time, we must continue to look to the future. Minnesota's farmers and entrepreneurs are already moving forward with investments in the next generation of biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol made from corncobs and switch grass. Senator Franken supports investments in research and development to help next-generation biofuels get off the ground, and investments in the infrastructure needed to get these fuels to the market. That's why Senator Franken is an original cosponsor of S. 884, the Domestic Energy Promotion Act. This legislation would gradually phase out the ethanol tax credit and redirect the money saved toward increasing the number of blender pumps that can dispense ethanol-blended fuel. He is also a cosponsor of the Biofuels Market Expansion Act, which would expand biofuel market access by increasing the number of flex fuel vehicles and blender pumps available around the country, and by creating incentives for investments in biofuel pipelines.