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2009 June 16

German parliament preserves biofuel blending targets

David Landes
The upper house of the German parliament has upheld biofuel blending targets and rejected a proposed tax-hike on biofuels.

The upper house, which represents Germany’s state governments, recently vetoed a government bill calling for 2009 biofuel blending targets to be cut from 6.25 percent to 5.25 percent, the Reuters news agency reports.

A biofuel industry group hailed the vote, emphasizing the importance of blending targets for Germany’s biofuels producers

“We greatly welcome the decision as the blending market is critical for the future of the industry,” German Biofuels Industry Association spokesperson Frank Bruehning told Reuters.

The vote comes amid growing concern about the future of Germany’s biofuels industry, which has been hit by concerns about rising food costs attributed to increased biofuels production, as well as higher taxes which have eliminated biofuels’ price advantage over fossil fuels.

Germany, along with several other European countries, had previously set up a number of measures to encourage the blending of biofuels in traditional petroleum-based fuels as a way to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

But plans have been scaled back, bringing Germany’s once-thriving biodiesel industry down to only 60 percent of its annual capacity, according to Bruehning.

Read the full article here.