Senate Amendments Would Increase Biofuel Production, Relieve Regulatory Burden

13 03 2012

WASHINGTON (March 12, 2012) – National Farmers Union (NFU) supports three propose amendments to S. 1813, the Surface Transportation Act. The amendments would increase biofuel production and relieve regulatory burdens for the transportation of agricultural products. The three amendments are #1812, proposed by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., #1716, proposed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and #1814, proposed by Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

Chairwoman Stabenow’s amendment would extend several key provisions for renewable energy,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Among its provisions, the amendment extends the Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit, the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Property, and the Biodiesel Tax Credit which are critical in providing consumers relief from rising fuel costs and ending our addiction to foreign oil. The amendment also extends vital production and investment tax credits as well as the 1603 grant program, all of which are important for continued investment in the wind industry. Chairwoman Stabenow’s amendment would help farmers and ranchers to power our country by continuing to invest in home grown sources of clean, renewable energy.”

The amendment proposed by Sen. Klobuchar would continue an exemption for agricultural truck drivers during the busy seasons of planting and harvest.

“The hours of service exemption for agricultural truck drivers during planting and harvest seasons should be extended,” said Johnson. “Farming is a seasonal enterprise and federal regulations should continue to reflect that.”

Sen. Merkley’s amendment would exempt some farmers from permitting issues that would hinder them while driving across state lines.

“Transportation laws and regulations should not saddle farmers with additional regulatory hurdles simply because they farm closer to a processor in another state than a processor in their own state,” said Johnson. “Farmers who transport the product outside the state should be exempted from some regulatory burdens, just like other farmers who don’t live near state borders.”

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