Biofuel-friendly Farm Bill gets veto override from Congress

Photo by Yandle. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

As expected, Congress made sure the Farm Bill (actually called the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008) became law yesterday despite some sort of clerical error that resulted in a number of pages being dropped from the final version. Democrats were embarrassed. The Senate voted 82 to 13 to override President Bush's veto. The Farm Bill contains a lot of biofuel-friendly sections, as we detailed the other day. To mention a few of the provisions: Cellulosic ethanol producers have their eye on $348m in new tax credits for the second-generation biofuel. The bill also includes grants worth $320m to build biorefineries to make advanced biofuels and $70m for farmers to grow switchgrass for energy.

So, who's happy about the new law? A good number of people, including Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, who said the energy "programs are good for all Americans -- they are a win-win-win for our energy security, environment, and economy." Farm Press talked to a handful of economists and found the bill to be a "mixed bag."

[Source: WaPo, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Farm Press, AP]

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