National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Dee Vaughan credited NCGA’s grassroots membership with making the calls and sending the e-mails and letters to members of the House, which overwhelmingly passed the bill by 246-180 vote. He urged swift passage by the Senate, which could vote on the conference report as early as Thursday.

“This is going to come down to the wire,” said Vaughan. “All the work that we’ve done for the past 24 months will finally pay off this week.”

With House passage, the energy bill will now advance to the Senate which is expected to approve the legislation as early as tomorrow.

“We need to really get to all of the Senators today and tomorrow and let them know the energy bill is a good deal for agriculture, it’s a good deal for the United States and we really need to get it passed, Vaughan continued. “We will not get another opportunity like this.”

The comprehensive energy bill includes the following provisions:

  • Renewable Fuels Standard - doubles the minimum use of ethanol to 5 billion gallons per year by 2012.
  • Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) - protects highway funding while preserving an important incentive for ethanol use.
  • Modifies the Small Ethanol Producer Tax Credit to allow farmer-owned facilities to fully utilize the credit.