by J.D. Davidson
From Lake Erie to the Ohio River, acres upon acres of vast cornfields blanket Ohio’s countryside, and an Ohio lawmaker wants state drivers to take advantage of the crop when they fill up their tanks.
Rep. Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, has introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would create a temporary, nonrefundable tax credit on the sale of E15 and higher blended biofuels of 5 cents a gallon.
“Ohio is the eighth-highest corn producing state and home to seven ethanol refineries who purchase much of our local corn yield for use in ethanol production,” McClain said Wednesday after introducing House Bill 165. “However, if you try to purchase high-blend biofuel at the pump, Ohio ranks much lower in consumer availability due to the control of the marketplace.”
E15 is a 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline blend generally approved for use in 2001 and newer model cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty SUVs and flex-fuel vehicles.
McClain said the bill challenges those market barriers and the tax credit ends after four years. He said E15 is, on average, 5 cents to 10 cents a gallon cheaper than nonblended or lower-blended fuels and burns cleaner with lower emissions.
“Cheaper, cleaner, renewable, and, importantly for us, locally grown and produced,” McClain said. “We can help level the playing field for our local Ohio growers and refiners with this legislation.”
McClain introduced similar legislation during last year’s General Assembly. His current bill, which awaits a committee assignment, includes 13 cosponsors.
– – –
An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square.