LANSING - Alternative fuels in Michigan would temporarily be taxed 7 cents cheaper than regular fuel, while 10 renaissance zones aimed at boosting the number of renewable energy facilities would be created under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Signed were SB 1074 , PA 268; SB 1075 , PA 269; SB 1078 , PA 270; SB 1079 , PA 271; HB 5181 , PA 272; HB 5752 , PA 273 and HB 5754 , PA 274.
Under the signed legislation, the state would also install fueling infrastructure at its motor transport facilities so that state vehicles able to use the fuels have easy access. All facilities selling alternative fuels would also have to register with the state.
A Renewable Fuels Commission would also be created in the Department of Agriculture to recommend strategies in the promoted use of ethanol and other renewable fuels, as well as efforts to promote alternative fuel research. And the Michigan Strategic Fund would administer matching grant programs to help encourage incentives to service stations and bulk fuel plants to stock and sell alternative fuels.
"The state that put the world on wheels will be the state that makes those wheels independent of foreign oil," Granholm said. "As more E-85 and flex fuel vehicles are produced by the Big Three automakers, it is essential that we make biodiesel and ethanol products more widely available to encourage their use."
Rep. Neal Nitz (R-Baroda), who led the alternative fuel package effort in the House, said the legislation will push Michigan into being a leader in the field.
"Renewable fuels can make a difference for Michigan's economic recovery and will impact the expansion of our $60 billion agriculture industry," he said. "This is the first step in providing renewable means to energy solutions and will decrease our dependence on foreign oil."
And Sue Cischke, vice president of Ford Environment and Sustainability, said the legislative package is an important step toward wider access of alternative fuels. "We are increasing our commitment to produce flexible fuel vehicles that can run on ethanol (E85) and this legislation will support development of retail fuel outlets for our customers."
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