Durbin Meets with Illinois Farm Bureau President to Discuss Agricultural Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] –   U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Philip Nelson, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, to discuss the importance of utilizing homegrown biofuels and extending the biodiesel and ethanol tax credits.

“Illinois farmers are ready, willing, and able to contribute to our energy independence and security.  Decreasing our use of Mideast oil and replacing it with Midwest biofuels is good for America,” said Durbin. “When we use our state's agricultural expertise to reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers, Illinois farmers win and the whole country benefits.”

A decision on whether to approve a waiver to increase the allowable blend of ethanol in gasoline was supposed to be issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in December.  Unfortunately, that decision has been delayed.  Durbin recently joined six other Senators in sending a letter to President Obama asking for expedited decision saying: “[We] urge you to use all available means to ensure that [the Department of Energy’s] testing is completed as soon as possible so that both consumers and our biofuels industry are not further harmed by this delay.”

Nelson thanked Durbin for his support of biofuels and urged swift passage of an extension of the biodiesel tax credit and the ethanol tax credit.  The biodiesel tax credit, which expired last December, is included in the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.  The ethanol tax credit could mean the loss of nearly 14,000 jobs if it is allowed to expire at the end of 2010.