The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today expressed its appreciation to its supporters in Congress for fighting to ensure passage of the JOBS tax bill. After today’s 69-17 passage by the Senate, the bill is on its way to the President for his signature. The legislation includes provisions championed by ACE and its members that will encourage further expansion of the ethanol industry.

The JOBS tax bill includes the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which extends the current blender’s tax credit until 2010 and restructures those tax incentives to eliminate the impact on the Highway Trust Fund. The bill also allows small ethanol producing cooperatives to make use of the existing tax credit for plants that produce less than 30 million gallons per year. ACE has been fighting to enact the small ethanol producer fix since the early 1990s.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 66-14 to cut off debate on the tax bill. This cleared the way for final passage in the U.S. Senate today.

“This is great news for the ethanol industry,” said Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president. “Not only will these changes in the tax code provide additional income to small ethanol producing cooperatives, they will encourage financial institutions to underwrite the further expansion of the industry and pave the way for continued cooperation between the ethanol, petroleum, and transportation industries in promoting greater use of renewable fuels in the future.”

Jennings praised the key ethanol supporters in Congress who were part of the team negotiating the final deal. “In particular, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, deserves enormous thanks. He insisted that the ethanol provisions be part of the deal, while most provisions of the energy bill were rejected in this process,” Jennings said.

Jennings continued: “Others on the Senate Finance Committee who helped ensure not only that these provisions were included in the final bill, but who also generated the necessary support to pass the bill in the U.S. Senate were Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Max Baucus (D-MT), Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), and Kent Conrad (D-ND).”

The enactment of these tax provisions allows ACE and its supporters in Congress to focus on passing the nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard and other pieces of legislation that are critical to the future of the ethanol industry: increasing the small producer credit eligibility cap on cooperatively-owned ethanol plant from 30 million gallons to 60 millions gallons, and enacting Senator Kent Conrad’s proposal to provide a tax credit for investments in pollution control equipment.