COLUMBUS – Gov. Ted Strickland recently signed the biennium state budget with $4.5 million allotted to alternative fuel programs that will work to increase availability of soy biodiesel and E85 across the state.
The Ohio Soybean Association and the Ohio Corn Growers Association, in cooperation with the Ohio Farm Bureau, have been working together to promote these programs, which resulted in the most attention biofuels have ever received in the state budget.
Tax credit. Included in the budget for the first time ever is a program that will allow fuel retailers who sell E85 ethanol or B20 soy biodiesel to take advantage of a tax credit of 15 cents per gallon in 2008 and 13 cents per gallon in 2009. These credits will be paid directly to the retailer.
A second program different from the tax credit will allow retailers who do not sell E85 or B20, but wish to start, to obtain infrastructure grants to assist in the installation of the necessary equipment, such as pumps and tanks.
Blenders that want to begin processing E85 or B20 will be able to take advantage of these grants to help with their specific infrastructure needs, as well.
The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant Program was established in House Bill 245.
Schools. Also included in the budget is a grant program designed specifically for soy biodiesel and its use in school buses.
School districts that choose to use soy biodiesel in their buses can receive grants that will offset the incremental cost of the fuel.
All of the grant programs will be administered by the Ohio Department of Development. Details regarding grant application and requirements are forthcoming.
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