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Public Statements

Obama Praises IRS for Making Tax Credit Available to Help Expand Consumer Access to Renewable Fuels

Location: Washington, DC

Obama Praises IRS for Making Tax Credit Available to Help Expand Consumer Access to Renewable Fuels
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Washington Contact: Robert Gibbs or Tommy Vietor, (202) 228-5511
Illinois Contact: Julian Green, (312) 886-3506
Date: April 27, 2006

Obama Praises IRS for Making Tax Credit Available to Help Expand Consumer Access to Renewable Fuels
IRS Decision Comes Shortly After Obama Asked Energy Secretary to Pressure IRS to Immediately Make Credit Available

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today praised the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for taking steps to make available a 30 percent tax credit up to $30,000 for the installation of pumps capable of offering renewable fuels. The tax credit, which Senator Obama has championed in the Senate, was signed into law eight months ago as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

"With gas prices through the roof and no relief in sight, we must do more to encourage the use of alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel that will lessen our dependence on foreign oil," said Obama. "This tax credit will encourage gas station owners across the country to invest in pumps that can dispense alternative fuels like E85 and give customers a cheaper, cleaner option when they fill their cars. I think most people in Illinois would agree that our money is better spent on fuels made from Illinois corn than from Middle Eastern oil."

It has been estimated that this tax credit will triple the number of gas stations offering renewable fuels in the first year that it is available.

In early April, Obama sent a letter to Energy Secretary Bodman asking him to use his leverage as Energy Secretary to pressure the IRS to immediately make the tax credit available to consumers. In his letter, Obama voiced frustration that it has been eight months since the legislation was signed into law but the credit is still unavailable.

E85 is a blended fuel that contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85, a clean burning renewable fuel made from corn, can be used in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), which can also use unleaded fuel when E85 isn't available. Standard vehicles can burn fuel with a 10 percent ethanol mix. B20 is a blended diesel that includes 20 percent biodiesel made from soybeans and can be used in conventional diesel engines. Senator Obama is also a strong supporter of biodiesel. Last November, Obama introduced legislation calling for an Alternative Diesel Standard that would require 2 billion gallons of diesel alternatives by the year 2015.


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