Obama’s Ethanol Tour Prompts Biodiesel Board Plea

John Davis

As President Obama prepares to visit an ethanol plant in Northern Missouri (see Cindy’s post), the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) … headquartered less than 100 miles to the south … is making the plea for the White House to get behind the $1-a-gallon federal biodiesel tax incentive that expired at the end of 2009 and put thousands of industry employees out of work:

“We are pleased the President continues to demonstrate his support for the biofuels industry,” said Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board CEO, from the group’s headquarters in Jefferson City. “But we also need him to remind Congress that their inaction to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive could cost the country tens of thousands of jobs. They must act now before America loses its only commercially available Advanced Biofuel.”

Congress failed to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive for 2010 before it expired at the end of last year. As a result, domestic biodiesel production has plummeted, employees at biodiesel manufacturing plants have been laid off and in some cases, plants have ceased operations all together.

“All the industry needs is a little help from Washington to keep American made biodiesel competitive with foreign oil,” Jobe said. “Biodiesel dramatically reduces carbon pollution, lessens our dependence on foreign oil and employs thousands in green jobs across the country. But without reinstatement of the tax incentive, the industry is barely surviving.”

The visit to the ethanol plant, part of Obama’s “White House to Main Street Tour” through Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, is not open to the public, so my guess is no one from the NBB will get close to the president to make the case for their green fuel. Let’s see if he’s listening anyway.

Biodiesel, NBB