The Oklahoma Senate passed two measures earlier this week to encourage the manufacturing of alternative fuels in the state. House Bill 1556, by Representative Mike Jackson and Senators David Myers and Patrick Anderson, and HB 1398, by Rep. James Covey and Sen. Owen Laughlin, both received unanimous approval from the Senate and are now waiting for further consideration from the Governor.
HB 1556 creates tax credits for producers of ethanol in the state and provides for certain eligibility requirements for those facilities. The legislation has been reworked, though, to create demand at the pump.
The measure now offers tax cuts on ethanol prices at the pump. Under provisions of the bill, a blend consisting of gasoline and ethanol would receive a tax credit of 1.6 cents for each gallon of ethanol contained in the blend.
"This is the 21st century and we need to take advantage of our scientific developments," said Anderson, R-Enid. "Oklahoma is one of the only states that until this year hadn’t recognized the potential economic impact that alternative fuels can have for a state. It's time we took advantage of our natural resources and stop depending so much on foreign resources."
HB 1398 also provides tax credits but for the manufacturing of biodiesels within the state. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from agricultural products such as soybeans or animal fat. The measure allows a credit against the tax imposed for any biodiesel facility that produces at a rate of 25-percent of its originally-designed capacity. A 20-cent tax credit would be given for every gallon of biodiesel produced.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to create new jobs and expand our horizons as far as fuel production in our state," said Laughlin, R-Wood ward. "This shows how serious we are about finding ways to improve the state's economy as well as funding new uses for farm products."
"We also want to thank Representatives Dale Dewitt, Curt Roggow and Jeff Hickman for their hard work and perseverance in ensuring that these bills got the necessary support to reach the Gov's desk. Because of their hard work and perseverance, Oklahoma will now have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of alternative fuels," concluded Myers, R-Ponca City.