Senss Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) an Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) introduced a new kind of green jobs act yesterday — the Grow Renewable Energy from Ethanol Naturally (GREEN) Jobs Act of 2010. The original Green Jobs Act was created in 2007 and was funded last year with Recovery Act dollars. If passed, this new GREEN Jobs Act will continue tax incentives for ethanol and biofuel producers.
According to the senators, the expiration of the biodiesel tax credit has led to 29,000 lost jobs and has put 23,000 at risk. By reinstating this tax credit, the senators hope that many of these workers can get back to work producing biofuel.
However, the long-term efficacy of biofuel is of much debate. While attending the Toyota Mobility Seminar in California last week, we had quite a good discussion about American-made biofuel. According to Jan F. Kreider of Kreider & Associates, the corn ethanol bubble has burst.
“If all the agricultural land in the U.S. were used to grow corn for ethanol, it would only provide half of U.S. needs. Corn ethanol is an abject failure because of this and a dozen other reasons.” Source: Jan Kreider (PDF)
Kreider does note that there are a variety of crops that can be used to create biofuel including soybeans, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, mustard seed and even switchgrass.
The expiration of the biofuel tax credits is having an impact on the job market in those states that produce biofuel. However, I wonder if extending these tax credits will give Americans the most bang for their buck, figuratively speaking. Will putting extra money towards biofuels put the most people back to work while having a significant impact on oil demands? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I hope that someone is looking into it.