The lame duck session is in full swing but no movement has yet been made on the tax extenders package that includes incentives for wind energy, advanced biofuels, including biodiesel, and cellulosic ethanol. Today, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) sent letters to all the members of the Iowa Congressional delegation urging them to level the energy playing field and reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive. Iowa leads the county in biodiesel production.
The letters stated: “The biodiesel industry’s recent progress is to be applauded, particularly in such a weak economy, but it should not cloud the fact that biodiesel remains a young and vulnerable industry. As the petroleum industry fights to preserve the tax advantages it has enjoyed continuously for the past century, the biodiesel industry has seen its growth stall since the tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2011. As a result, U.S. biodiesel production will likely be down from last year and the growth in Iowa biodiesel production will likely be less than expected.
The projected decrease in U.S. biodiesel production in 2012 demonstrates that if the petroleum industry maintains its century-old tax advantages and the biodiesel tax incentive is not reinstated, then the RFS volumes will most likely be the ceiling for U.S. biodiesel production and use, not the floor. Now, as much as ever, the biodiesel industry needs stability and a level energy playing field to continue growing.”
The letters were send to Senators Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley, and Representatives Dave Loebsack, Leonard Boswell, Steve King and Tom Latham.