Legislation recently introduced by Representatives Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) would, if enacted, provide increased access to ethanol and biodiesel at the pump. The bipartisan legislation would "enhance the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit. Currently, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property credit allows gas station owners to claim a 30 percent tax credit for the cost of installing clean-fuel vehicle refueling property up to a maximum of $30,000. The legislation raises the amount of the credit from 30 percent of the cost of qualifying property to 50 percent, up to a maximum of $100,000, and allows station owners to claim the value for the entire cost of dual purpose fuel dispensers."
Boise partner John Eustermann believes that it has been understood for some time now that one of the hurdles the biofuels industry has been struggling with to date is the lack of appropriate mechanisms to encourage and enhance the distribution of the fuels to the end user or retail consumer, and that any mechanism that can increase the availability of biofuels at the pump should lend some relief to the industry and is welcomed by its advocates. Whether the proposed E85 and Biodiesel Access Act gains the necessary traction it needs to be fully effective at the street level will be interesting to see. The motivation behind the proposal certainly makes sense from a biofuel industry economic perspective. Whether competing interests agree, however, may be another story.