Tuesday, November 6, 2007

MA Biofuel Bill Proposed ... Mixing the Carrot and the Stick

The Boston Globe reported today on a MA biofuels bill that has been proposed by prominent members of the MA legislature. The focus definitely seems to be on the oil security side here...

The Stick
The bill would mandate that all home heating oil and diesel fuel sold in MA contain at least 2% "renewable bio-based alternatives" by 2010, rising to 5% by 2013. From the wording of the article, it would appear that this does indeed apply to diesel for automobiles. Could be a major boon for regional biodiesel suppliers such as Twin Rivers...

The Carrot
According to the Globe, the bill would also exempt gasoline containing ANY cellulosic ethanol from the state gasoline tax of 23c/gallon. Treating cellulosic ethanol as "special" is hugely important to allow this market to grow to scale and ideally grow to become cheaper than corn ethanol. I am sure that the real wording must put a minimum on the % by volume or energy of the cellulosic ethanol content of gasoline to qualify for the exemption. Otherwise, I have a good single ethanol molecule injection/mixing technology startup in the works.... :)

Are there any cellulosic ethanol plants planned/under construction in New England???

Exciting to see MA leading the way here!!!


David Danielson said...

More on this and Florida's biofuel policy plans at:


Anup Bandivadekar said...

Thinking about the following factors would help:
(1) Total demand for heating oil and diesel northeast.
(2) Does the cellulosic ethanol need to be produced in MA? Does setting up a cellulosic ethanol facility in MA (as opposed to say Alabama) makes any sense?
(3) The countrywide demand for corn ethanol will swamp any biodiesel demand. Soybean prices will go up as a result of more farmers shifting to corn. As of today, soybean prices were up some 80% from a year ago.

Personally, I would be very careful here.