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Biofuel Tax Credit Language in Final Health Care Bill: Help Us Understand Why

Update (3/23/2010): Readershelped us solve this mystery.

Silly ProPublicans. We expected thehealth care reform bill to include language pertaining to health care. And most of it does, except this paragraph that appears to tackle the scourge of … ashy biofuels?

ELIMINATION OF UNINTENDED APPLICATION OF CELLULOSIC BIOFUEL PRODUCER CREDIT.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 40(b)(6)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

(iii) EXCLUSION OF UNPROCESSED FUELS.—The term ‘cellulosic biofuel’ shall not include any fuel if—

"(I) more than 4 percent of such fuel (determined by weight) is any combination of water and sediment, or

"(II) the ash content of such fuel is more than 1 percent (determined by weight)."

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The Amendment made by this section shall apply to fuels sold or used on or after January 1, 2010.

We found the biofuel section using our side-by-side comparisonof the Senate health care reform bill and the House reconciliation version – and we think it’s just the beginning of what we might find by looking at the full text of the bills. (So far as we know, we’re the only ones who’ve published the proposed final bill in full. We did it by stitching together the Senate bill and the House’s changes.)

It’s Friday afternoon and all the experts have gone home. But we still want to know: What tax credit is this snippet referencing? What does it do? Is it health care related in a way our inferior brains can’t understand? Give us your thoughts or post in the comments below.

And do you see something else in the bill the public should know about? Take a look. We’ll happily post insights on our site, with copious credit.

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