House Leader: Biodiesel Incentive Back by Summer

John Davis

A key Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives has set a goal of Congress renewing the $1-a-gallon federal biodiesel tax incentive and sending the measure to Pres. Obama by the end of May.

The Des Moines (IA) Register reports that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Michigan Democrat Sander Levin made the prediction:

The House and Senate have been at odds over how to pay for the various tax credit extensions that the legislation contains. Levin said the main obstacle is the need to get a filibuster-proof 60-vote margin in the Senate.

The biodiesel industry, which was already struggling, has slowed to a crawl without the subsidy. The chairman and CEO of a leading biodiesel producer, Ames-based Renewable Energy Group LLC, met privately with Levin and Iowa’s three Democratic U.S. House members, during a break in a Ways and Means hearing. Jeff Stroburg said that while he’s confident House leaders want to get the bill done by Memorial Day he’s not sure the Senate would agree to a deal by then.

“I’m really concerned. There’s a lot of politics involved,” he said.

Industry officials believe biodiesel refineries will be able to ramp up again once they get the subsidy back because there are also mandates out there that will prompt more biodiesel use.

Biodiesel, Legislation