WASHINGTON — Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) Executive Director Brooke Coleman released the following statement today in response to an energy tax reform proposal released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT):

“We commend Chairman Baucus and his team for taking on the challenge of reforming the federal tax code as it applies to energy. It is very clear that Chairman Baucus sees the big picture when it comes to tax reform; namely, that energy must be at the center of the conversation, and the code must be reformed to: remove inequities favoring fossil fuels, clean up redundancies, reward innovation and spur economic growth. Senator Baucus has rightly put all existing policies on the table while proposing a new path that will achieve these goals and ensure that the United States leads instead of follows when it comes to developing new technologies and producing less carbon intensive energy.”

Coleman noted that, as is the case with any new proposal, some details need to be worked out. “We look forward to working with Chairman Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee to ensure that any new piece of legislation covers the critical bases when it comes to maximizing investment. Inequities cannot be allowed to survive this process or we will continue to ship opportunity in the disadvantaged sectors overseas. The eligibility criteria must be carefully crafted and Congress must be very careful not to create investment uncertainty when it tries to address when and if these incentives phase-out. The backdrop of this process is not a free market. The code has been de-risking fossil fuel investment for roughly a century, and that legacy will stand if not corrected carefully.”

Coleman also called for immediate energy tax extenders in the context of the proposal’s 3-year extension of existing law. “The proposal admirably calls for a 3-year extension of existing law for cellulosic biofuels to provide a reasonable ramp to a new tax regime. We commend the Chairman for recognizing the hazards of frequent expirations and change of law. That said, tax provisions for cellulosic biofuels still come off the books in two weeks while those offered to the fossil fuel industry persist. We recommend that Congress invoke the ‘do no harm’ principle going forward and pass extenders in 2013.”