Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sees a number of ag-related legislative issues as priorities right now. He specifically mentions the still lapsed biodiesel tax credit and energy legislation. He'd like to see an energy bill with long-term extensions for renewable energy incentives, including ethanol.
According to Grassley, everything dealing with energy is most important right now.
"It's not only an energy issue but it's a jobs issue as evidence by the fact that if we can get a biodiesel bill passed we could probably put 23,000 workers to work at biodiesel plants over 44 states," Grassley said. "Also, considering the fact that we need to work on energy because we have ethanol tax extenders coming out between now and the end of the year and I don't want to happen to ethanol what has happened to biodiesel this particular year."
An energy bill is being shaped in the Senate and according to reports several Midwestern senators are trying to insert an extension of the biodiesel tax credit that expired at the end of last year.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said strong biofuels provisions should be part of a revamped energy bill. Although the House and Senate have voted to revive the biodiesel credit as part of a so-called tax extender bill, they have not agreed on the same piece of legislation. The bill has foundered on growing concern in the Senate to rein in federal spending. The biodiesel credit may also be offered as an amendment to a small-business bill.