In a bi-partisan move, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Democrat from Arkansas, and Norm Coleman, Republican from Minnesota, have introduced legislation today to extend the federal biodiesel tax credit. The legislation would extend the federal excise tax credit and income tax credit for biodiesel to 2017. Lincoln originally introduced the credit and got it passed in 2004.
In a press release, the National Biodiesel Board was quick to praise the action:
“Senator Lincoln is again blazing trails for biodiesel to boost America’s energy security, economy and the environment, including climate change,” said NBB Chief Executive Officer Joe Jobe who was in Washington, D.C. for the bill’s introduction. “Extending the tax incentive gives confidence for continued biodiesel industry growth.”
The release went on to point out how Lincoln’s original legislation helped the American biodiesel industry go from just 22 plants with a capacity of 157 million gallons of fuel in 2004 to today’s 105 plants able to produce 864 million gallons of biodiesel.
“Our American agricultural producers and domestic companies have demonstrated their commitment to energy independence through the production of renewable fuels like biodiesel,” Sen. Lincoln said. “It’s time for Congress to follow its initial work and make the necessary investment for continued progress and development. I look forward to working with advocates of alternative energy sources like the National Biodiesel Board towards our shared goal of promoting greater production of renewable fuels.”
“Biodiesel is central to our efforts to free America from our dangerous dependence on foreign oil,” Sen. Coleman said. “By passing the long-term extension of the biodiesel tax credit contained in this bill, we can help ensure that production of this critical renewable fuel continues to grow.”
The NBB says the industry adds $24 billion to the U.S. economy between 2005 and 2015 and will create nearly 40,000 jobs in many different sectors. Tax revenues from biodiesel will keep nearly $14 billion in the U.S. that would otherwise be spent on foreign oil… more than paying for the incentives.