Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sleeping with The Devil

Friday, October 08, 2004

School buses, kids, and petro-diesel

Edutopia, Sept 04

The switch to biodiesel isn't just good for the environment; it's also better for students. Children riding in diesel-fueled buses -- particularly buses built before tougher emissions controls were introduced in 2000 -- are exposed to significantly higher levels of harmful exhaust.

Petroleum-fueled diesel engines, which power most school buses, are notorious polluters. Regular exposure to diesel fumes has been linked with respiratory problems, cancer, and asthma -- a condition from which 6.3 million U.S. children now suffer. Children run a greater risk of developing health problems associated with air pollution than do adults, according to the Coalition for Clean Air, because their lungs are still developing.

But alternative-fuel advocates say the cheapest -- and most immediate -- solution to the dirty-bus problem is to switch to biodiesel, a nontoxic fuel derived from vegetable oils that requires no new equipment purchases or expensive engine modifications. More than 100 U.S. school districts have already switched, according to the National Biodiesel Board, and many got their funding through the EPA's grant program...
Read complete article.

Biodiesel Tax Incentive Passes the House

From NBB newsletter

Oct 08, 2004

The House last night passed the FSC/ETI conference report H.R. 4520, including the biodiesel tax incentive, by a vote of 280-141. Senate leadership has indicated that the Senate will vote on this legislation before they recess on Saturday, Oct. 9. If that happens, it will go to the President for signature, as its final step. As it stands now, we are cautiously optimistic about our chances for final passage.

The biodiesel tax incentive is part of the Foreign Sales Corporation/Extraterritorial Income Tax (FSC/ETI) regime, commonly referred to as “JOBS” legislation. The biodiesel tax incentive, which amounts to a penny per percentage point of biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel, was included in the FSC/ETI legislation at the insistence of biodiesel champions like Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). It is part of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) originally introduced as S. 1548 that Senators Grassley and Lincoln sponsored, and H.R. 3119 sponsored by Representative Kenny Hulshof (R-MO). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) chaired the conference committee and included the biodiesel provision.

We thank all who have made this crucial step to passage possible: to those who made calls to specific legislators in answer to our plea yesterday, we thank you! We all know how precious this tax incentive is to our industry and we appreciate your volunteer hours of help. Your voice as a stakeholder is the loudest. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.

Thank you very much,

Joe Jobe
Executive Director
National Biodiesel Board