Congress Mulls Bush Request for Ethanol

By MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press, MSNBC and Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — President Bush has requested $11.4 million for the EPA to implement parts of a federal energy law that includes writing rules for a new renewable fuels standard. It requires refiners to use 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol in gasoline annually by 2012.

The Bush Administration is considering lifting import tariffs on ethanol. All in a bid to alleviate any supply crunch of gasoline. Especially ahead of the peak summer demand driving season. That came from Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Thursday.

The Bush Administration is considering lifting import tariffs on ethanol. All in a bid to alleviate any supply crunch of gasoline. Especially ahead of the peak summer demand driving season. That came from Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Thursday.

According to the LA Times:

The rule, authorized in an energy law signed by President Bush in 2005, also requires that 4.02% of gasoline sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists in 2007 be renewable fuel, or about 4.7 billion gallons. That is more than 1% higher than required last year.

“It’s something the administration has considered and will continue to consider,” Bodman told reporters. This was after a meeting with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico.

He conceded, however, that the power to actually lift the tariffs is out of the administration’s hands. That authority lies with Congress. All where any proposed policy changes to the ethanol import tariff scheme could face a huge challenge. Especially from key Republican leaders from farm states. You know, particularly Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.  For he is have strongly opposed lifting the 54 cents a gallon tariff on ethanol imports. Most notably from countries such as Brazil.

Taking action is largely a Congressional matter, Bodman said, although he noted that President George W. Bush wants lawmakers to seriously consider legislative proposals that would improve the ethanol supply outlook.

Former president George W. Bush sought to generate a western-hemisphere dominated industry that can produce as much as 35 billion gallons (130 billion liters) a year. For that’s equal to the entire world’s production as of 2007.

In addition to expanding ethanol industries provide jobs in plant construction. Also operations, and maintenance. For that’s mostly in rural communities.

However, by early 2009, the industry is under financial stress due to the effects of the economic crisis of 2008. Especially as motorists are driving less, gasoline prices have dropped sharply. So then there is excess production capacity. I mean and less financing around to hold the gas.

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