Grassley Blasts Dems for Biodiesel Incentive Lapse

John Davis

grassley3Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa says Democrats seem to just paying lip service to the concept of green energy and green jobs.

He took to the floor of the Senate this week to blast the Democratic leadership for what appears to be allowing the $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax incentive to expire at the end of this month. Here are some of the remarks as posted on

President Obama and Vice President Biden have been talking for months about the need to create “green jobs.” In fact, President Obama has held three public events in recent days to highlight his concern about the economy and the need to create jobs. Yesterday, the Administration apparently announced billions more in tax credits for renewable energy and energy conservation efforts.

It seems like nearly everyone in the Administration is touting the benefits of green jobs and a clean energy economy. It’s astonishing, then, that this Congress will head home for the Holidays while thousands of “green energy” workers receive pink slips and furloughs…

Without an extension of the tax credit, all U.S. biodiesel production will grind to a halt. Plants will be shuddered, and workers will be let go. No one should be surprised by the upcoming expiration of this tax credit. It was extended most recently in October of 2008. So, we’ve known for 14 months that it would need to be extended by the end of 2009. The Senate has been in session nearly continuously for months…

There’s no excuse for inaction on this extension.

The Democratic leadership is content to leave here without doing the necessary work on extenders, believing that they can extend the tax provisions retroactively sometime early next year. But, retroactivity doesn’t help the U.S. biodiesel market from grinding to a halt on January 1, 2010, because without the incentive, biodiesel will cost much more than petroleum diesel.

Although a one-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive has breezed through the U.S. House, it’s been all health care all the time in the Senate. Grassley says while lawmakers “dither,” thousands of biodiesel workers could lose their jobs. He adds that any halt to the biodiesel industry could be a death knell for the green fuel.

Biodiesel, Government