Bioenergy

New York Farmers Applaud Biofuels Bill

New York Farm Bureau said that the finalization of the Bio-Fuels Production Tax Credit and a recently announced $20 million state funding proposal for cellulosic ethanol will position New York as a national leader in biofuel production.

“There is no doubt that the fast-growing industry of biofuel production will have a significant and beneficial impact on the farm families in New York State,” said John Lincoln, president of New York Farm Bureau. The Bio-Fuel Production Tax Credit makes companies eligible for a tax credit for each gallon of renewable fuel they produce. It was passed by the legislature this spring and recently signed by Governor Pataki , who announced this week a $20 million program in the state budget for the development of a cellulosic ethanol pilot facility. Lincoln was quick to recognize Governor Pataki, Sen. James Wright, Assemblyman William Magnarelli, Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Bill Magee for supporting and sponsoring the measures. The tax credits and the cellulosic program will provide critical incentives for production facilities to locate in New York State and send a clear signal to the investment community that the state is leading the charge on this front, Lincoln said. At least one and possibly several large biofuels plants are slated to come into production in the state, supported by a partnership between New York Farm Bureau, Empire State Forest Products Association, New York Corn Growers Association and environmental organizations such as National Resources Defense Council. Biofuels production will help keep farmland in agricultural production, helping communities in upstate New York protect open space. At the same time, consumers will benefit from the development of alternative fuels, countering rising gas prices. In addition to ethanol, biofuels facilities will produce distiller’s dried grains, a high-protein livestock feed that is well suited for New York’s dairy industry. New York is the third largest dairy producing state and its dairy farmers would welcome the low-cost feed additive. “In light of skyrocketing fuel prices, which are severely impacting our farmers, finding cheaper fuel alternatives that utilize our crops is a best-of-both-worlds scenario that we are excited to see play out,” Lincoln said.