Congressional negotiators have agreed to extend the 45-cent-per-gallon subsidy for ethanol for one year and also continue a tariff on imports of the biofuel. The tariff will continue at 54 cents per gallon through 2011. The bill also would resurrect and extend for another year the $1-a-gallon subsidy for biodiesel that expired at the end of 2009. Biodiesel production slowed significantly this year, and many plants shut down.
County Line Mart Owner Steve Klein says the new ethanol subsidies will allow them to offer more options. He says for the E-85 blend of biofuel they need the product to be 20%-30% less than gasoline to be competitive. Klein says in 2010 they were not able to offer the biodiesel at The County Line Mart, but now with the subsidy it will be more affordable for them to offer it in 2011. Klein says he expects to see an increase in the use of both biodiesel and biofuel.