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Daley proposes bill to boost Michigan biofuels, expand clean options at the pump

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley on Tuesday introduced legislation that would help grow alternative fuel production in Michigan and provide cleaner, more affordable options for Michigan drivers using biofuels produced with renewable energy from Michigan farms.

“Biofuels are a major economic engine for rural communities across Michigan, and they help position our state to rely less on foreign oil,” said Daley, R-Lum. “This legislation will help accelerate Michigan’s biofuel production and ultimately provide cleaner and cheaper fuel that is locally grown and produced.”

The legislation would create a tax credit for retailers who choose to sell alternative fuels. The bill would create a five-cents-per-gallon tax credit for the sale of E-15 fuel and an 8.5-cent-per-gallon credit for the sale of E-85 fuel. Both of the credits would expire after five years unless renewed by the Legislature.

“The goal of this legislation is to create an incentive for gas stations to offer higher ethanol blends, which will help reduce emissions, benefit Michigan corn farmers, and offer drivers additional, more affordable options at the pump,” Daley said.

Supporters note that the legislation will help ensure stable, growing markets for Michigan farmers, who supply the corn for the state’s five ethanol plants.

“COVID took a big bite out of family farmers and small business owners,” said Jim Zook, executive director at Michigan Corn Growers Association. “This incentive will drive demand for biofuels and corn and will help them get back on their feet. Growing markets for E-15 and E-85 will generate significant new demand for Michigan corn — a game-changer for farm families looking to rebuild and reinvest after several tough years. We applaud Senator Daley for working to keep our air clean and rural communities strong.”

Gabe Corey, general manager of Carbon Green BioEnergy and industry representative on the Michigan Corn Growers Association Board, agreed and added that this initiative will help Michigan become more self-reliant.

“With so much uncertainty at the federal level, it’s more important than ever for Michigan lawmakers to promote new markets for biofuels,” Corey said. “The return on investment is clear. Statewide adoption of E-15 and E-85 would slash carbon emissions, save families money at the pump and fuel Michigan’s economy for decades to come.”

Daley agreed saying this legislation would help Michigan families who are struggling with the current surge in fuel prices.

“Folks are being saddled with extreme costs just go to work and with their day-to-day travel around town to pick up their kids, get groceries or run to the pharmacy,” Daley said. “This legislation would unlock the potential to grow Michigan’s biofuel production, create jobs, and ultimately provide cleaner and cheaper fuel that is locally grown and produced.

“I really see a lot of potential and believe this plan to be great for the future of our state.”