Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt, fresh off a primary win to be the Republican candidate for Senator, stopped at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in Jefferson City, Missouri on Friday to voice his support for reinstating the biodiesel tax credit which expired at the end of 2009.
“I’m very concerned that we continue to see good, job-producing tax credits in the energy industry generally held hostage to cap and trade,” Blunt said during a press conference at NBB headquarters. “We need more American energy of all kinds. We need to develop more, find more, use less – conservation is an important part of this – and invest in the future.” He said continuation of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit, which was only in effect for five years, is essential for to keep growing the industry. “So we need to not just have an extension of these credits, but an extension for as long as we can possibly argue that these credits would be needed to create more American energy,” he said. Blunt is running against Democrat Robin Carnahan for the seat being vacated by the retiring Senator Kit Bond (R-MO).
Asked why he voted against a bill this year that would have reinstated the tax credit, Blunt replied that it included tax increases that he was against. “It’s not necessary to slow down one part of the economy in order to encourage another,” Blunt said. He is hopeful that there will be another vehicle to bring back the tax credit before the end of this Congress. “They’re talking now about an energy bill, sometimes called “Energy Light,” because it wouldn’t have the burdensome and ill-conceived cap and trade,” he said. “Hopefully, we can move forward with things that encourage all kinds of American energy.”
NBB CEO Joe Jobe noted that the biodiesel industry made great progress with the tax credit in place. “The biodiesel tax credit took effect in January of 2005, and in just that five short years, the biodiesel industry built more than 150 biodiesel plants nationwide, it brought green jobs and investment to rural areas, and most importantly has displaced petroleum with the first commercially available advance biofuel,” said Jobe. “It’s our number one priority to get that tax credit reinstated, retroactively, as quickly as possible.”
In answer to a reporter’s question, Jobe admitted that most of the nation’s 172 biodiesel plants have either closed or cut back production since the beginning of this year, but he did not have an exact number.
Listen to the press conference with Congressman Blunt and Joe Jobe here: Cong. Blunt and Biodiesel