Perdue proposes tax exemption for biofuel facilities

Gov. Perdue today proposed a sales tax exemption for materials and equipment used in the construction of biofuel facilities in Georgia, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Speaking at the Ellenwood, GA location of BullDog BioDiesel, Perdue said:

My commitment is to provide state leadership for serious, sustained development of alternative fuel sources in Georgia. It is vitally important that we decrease our dependence on foreign oil. New alternative fuel production facilities are proving that with leadership and innovation this can be done.

Says the Business Chronicle:

The 4 percent tax incentive, an annual savings of $2 million to 4 million, will be available to facilities producing and processing certain biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel and butanol) derived from Georgia-grown agriculture products and biomass.

Fuel issues were, and are, a big part of campaigns across the nation this year, especially with previously skyrocketing gas prices and continued unrest in the world’s oilfield, the Middle East. However, I think that it’s a bit less of an issue to folks individually, and at this time, as fuel prices are nearing $2 and continuing to drop.

This issue is probably still a good one, although (a) I don’t think that it alone will really win him any votes (even from those in Ellenwood, as the biodiesel plant is only expected to employ fifteen people), and (b) any chance Sonny had of actually being respected on the environment was probably thrown out when he traded in the (D) next to his name for an (R). Is that a stereotype, and an incorrect one at that? Of course it is! However, the fact remains that the GOP reputation is poor on the environment; thus, I don’t think any enviro-friendly promises are going to sway many undecided/left-leaning voters. It’ll take a message not only near and dear to their hearts to sway votes to the right side of the aisle in this election, but it will also have to be one to which they don’t have an automatically disbelieving reaction.

Your thoughts?

16 comments

  1. ugavi says:

    I think it’s a great move. Taylor gave a very lame response.

    It also shows support for Gary Black who is huge on bio-fuel. Should help Gary draw even more of a contrast with Tommy.

  2. RandyMiller says:

    Until hydrogen and all battery cars are the norm
    this is the way to go. It has the potential for great benefits starting with our farmers and on up to decreasing our dependence on arab oil. Also I’ve seen many, and I do mean many, Gary Black signs down in South Georgia.

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Biofuels, at least some, are greatly misunderstood.

    Some gasolines with biofuel additives and straight biofuel gasoline get very poor mileage. So bad that when used as a substitute for oil based fuel, it takes more “oil products” to produce the “biofuel” alternative.

    Biofuel diesel does not seem to be one of those products.

    Biofuel gasoline isn’t yet ready for prime time. Yet being important to note.

    Currently, some estimates claim that for every eight gallons of “biofuel” produced, seven gallons of “oil products” are consumed.

    Then, the “biofuel” process consumed about 3 gallons of water for every gallon of “biofuel” produced. Of course, that water can be treated and recycled.

    But, if the whole problem of the biofuel industry, as it currently stands, is investigated, there is not enough “bio” in annual domestic production to “fuel” current annual consumption.

    We have to keep an eye on spending taxpayer money for a technology that currently has marginal benefit.

    I just don’t get making interest free government loans/grants to private industry for “experimentation.”

    Irresponsible tax cuts and tax incentives are just another form of reckless imminent domain or an uncompensated taking of private capital/property.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Ops. I better clarify that last sentence.

    If the government borrows money at the market rate to give financial incentives to private business, which is interest free money.

    Then, taxes property, consumption, income … to keep the jails, courts, police, fire, roads, and other government infrastructure in operation, then it is taking from one private individual and “giving” to another private individual.

    Plus the interest expense bill …

  5. Thig says:

    Mad Dog, you are obviously more educated on this subject than I am, but it sort of reminds me of what happened in 1973/74 with the oil imbargo. Prices went up and fuel became scarce so we started talking alternative fuels, when we realized the supply wasn’t out we forgot about alternative fuels.

    Think where we would be today if we had taken alternative fuels seriously back then.

    I think we have the weigh the marginal benefit against where we will be if we don’t do something about alternative fuels.

  6. Mad Dog says:

    Thig,

    Not sure I’m that educated on this.

    My brother drives a VW with biodiesel.

    We almost beat each others brains out on IF biodiesel can replace gasoline.

    He’s a firm yes on that. And, he could be right.

    I’m a firm No on biofuel for gasoline. No certaincy to that.

    One of those gray haired professors that used to pick on me in science classes had a good story on Hitler.

    After the war, the USA and the USSR went after all the German rocket scientists we could find.

    We should have gone after their alternate fuel scientists.

    Think of where we would be NOW if in 1945 we had started on synthetic fuels.

    I agree that we won’t be able to go on as we are going.

    Just alternative fuels won’t cut it in my opinion. But, don’t tell my brother. He’ll kick my butt again.

  7. Chris says:

    OK Mad Dog that’s a good start. But much of the “work” in converting the carbon materials into suitable bio fuel feedstock is done by the sun via photosynthesis, which requires no petroleum fuel. Those numbers are inflated to include this “free” work from nature.

    Second, ethanol is only about 70-85% as efficient as gasoline in terms of BTU equivalents in the fuel, depending on how its tested. Given that, there is not enough virgin biomass feedstock in the country to have ethanol replace gasoline, nor should it even try. Waste resources are gaining much more attention to be nearly on the same plane as corn/soybean biofuels, and the feedstocks are much more available in significant quantities than food grains. But like you said, as an additive, or an alternative fuel at the right price, it can relieve pressure on gasoline supplies and help us get to the next chapter in how vehicles are powered. In terms of energy efficiency, butanol contain more thermal energy per gallon than ethanol, but still not quite as much as gasoline.

    Third, the German technology (Fischer-Tropsch process) is already being implemented here commercially, as was in the 70s, but capital outlays are so extremely high right now that few big money investors have yet to come forward and fully fund the operations. The Air Force just tested FT synthetic fuel made from natural gas (methane) in its B52 bomber last week from a pilot plant that was built in Oklahoma. Gasification (for methane) and depolymerization (for coal) also have other methods besides the FT process through which synthetic fuels can be produced, and those technologies are getting comparable attention in the private sector, at significantly lower initial capital investment requirements.

  8. Dorabill says:

    I’m with Mad dog. I always had a problem with growing crops and depleting the soil, then fermenting and distilling a product which I’d rather eat (or drink)

  9. Demonbeck says:

    The state should lead the way by providing incentives for its departments, agencies and authorities to find ways to cut down on fuel/energy consumption. Certainly there are many things that can be done to our schools that would decrease their consumption and as a result their cost to the taxpayer.

  10. Dorabill says:

    Sure. And I’m for anything especially short term that will drive down the price of oil. This is about national security. The lower the oil price goes the sooner Mr. Ackma Hoo Haa in Iran will cease to be a factor. He won’t be able to afford the WMDs.

  11. Chris says:

    Dorabill // Sep 28th 2006 at 8:40 pm :
    The lower the oil price goes the sooner Mr. Ackma Hoo Haa in Iran will cease to be a factor.

    You missed the memo apparently. Bush is bombing Iran sometime this month. Today’s lower oil prices are a fleeting comma in our national energy tales.

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