Growth Energy Testimony Supporting Ohio Higher Blends Tax Credit

Growth Energy is the world’s largest association of biofuel producers, representing 96 U.S. plants that each year produce more than 9 billion gallons of cleaner-burning, renewable fuel – including five of Ohio’s seven biorefineries. We also represent 113 businesses associated with the production process; and tens of thousands of biofuel supporters around the country. Together, we remain committed to bringing better and more affordable choices at the fuel pump to consumers, helping our country diversify our energy portfolio in order to grow more energy jobs, sustaining family farms, and driving down the costs of transportation fuels for consumers.

Today, 98 percent of all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10 percent ethanol; E15 (15 percent ethanol) is now available at more than 3,244 retail locations in 31 states, and higher ethanol blends such as E85 are available at nearly 6,000 sites around the country. In Ohio, there are 144 retail locations selling E15 and 256 locations selling E85. E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles representing more than 95% of the vehicle miles traveled on the road today and more than 9 out of ten cars on the road. Consumers have now driven more than 90 billion miles on E15, and retailers have conducted millions of transactions with this fuel. There have been no adverse reports of fuel quality experienced with E15 since first being approved 12 years ago.

Growth Energy appreciates this opportunity to support House Bill 324 which would provide an important tax credit for ethanol blends from 15 to 85 percent ethanol. Specifically, this legislation would provide a non-refundable 5 cent per gallon tax credit to fuel retailers who offer E15, E85 and all other ethanol blends in between. This credit is important as retailers in Ohio continue to build out the market and invest in additional infrastructure to install these ethanol blends. Ethanol blends such as E15 and E85 provide environmental benefits, boost Ohio’s farmers and biofuel producers, and give consumers more affordable choices at the pump.

Given our experience with retailers around the country offering ethanol blends, we are happy to assist the committee with technical questions as they consider this important legislation. We look forward to working with you to finalize this important benefit for Ohio fuel retailers and drivers. Thank you in advance for your consideration.