Atlanta environmental law attorney, Scott Hitch, has the scorecard on the souteast's race for biofuels supremecy in today's AJC:
"However, Aiken, S.C., across the Savannah River from Augusta, is a great place for a biodiesel plant. South Carolina now offers a tax credit of 20 cents to 30 cents per gallon for production of biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), for up to 25 million gallons per year, and a five cent per gallon retail rebate. Retailers and dealers receive a tax credit for 25 percent of the cost of biofuels equipment.
These incentives have just attracted a new $1.4 million biodiesel plant from Georgia. Farmers & Truckers Biodiesel's new plant will move into a renovated kaolin warehouse across the state line, and it likely won't build a second facility it had planned for Georgia."
"There are almost 50 retail stations selling fuel containing ethanol or biodiesel in South Carolina. In Georgia there are only three."
With as much progress as Georgia has made towards being a leader in the biofuels industry, we're still not doing enough. Hitch's simple comparison of what Georgia is doing to what our neighbors are doing reveals that we have some catching up to do. Especially against South Carolina, which is now taking more than just automobile plants away from us.
Republicans like Gov. Perdue, Senator Chambliss, etc. have been showing some support, really just giving more lip service to it than anything. But that's somewhat to be expected considering that the Republican party is the party of big oil and coal.
And we surely do have some Georgia Democrats working hard towards taking advantage of our state's natural resources and byproducts from other goods to make sure that Georgia is in the fight. But what amazes me is we still have some Democrats that either don't realize that we're falling behind, or aren't enthused with the potential investment, job growth, and tax revenue that could result from putting our foot down on the pedal on this now. But then again, who could ever accuse Georgia Democrats of being visionaries?
South Carolina's beating us up and taking our lunch money. Not because they're better, but because they're thinking more progressively.