The U.S. Senate is moving again on renewing the $1-a-gallon federal biodiesel tax incentive, but the action is too slow for many in the biofuels business.
Biodiesel Magazine reports the Senate today invoked cloture on the larger bill that contains the credit, ending debate and setting up a final vote:
Sources say there is still some debate regarding Medicare payments and negotiating “price-downs” and “pay-fors,” but they say $20 billion has already been negotiated out of the massive piece of legislation, in which the biodiesel tax credit is tied up, to reduce the overall cost of the $145 billion package.
And even it passes the Senate, the measure has been amended since it’s time in the House, meaning this changed version will have to pass that chamber as well. All these machinations are getting to be too much for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), who also called on President Obama, after last night’s address on the Gulf oil spill, to come up with a little less talk and a lot more action:
“Instead of kicking tar balls on beaches, President Obama ought to be kicking the backside of Congress to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Biodiesel is one of the country’s cleanest energy opportunities; yet U.S. biodiesel production remains crippled by 165 days of Congressional inaction. While the focus must be on confronting the massive plume of crude oil enveloping the Gulf region, our leaders certainly have the multitasking capability to enact legislation that moves us away from our dangerous addiction to that crude oil at the same time.”
“We watch in dismay as oil threatens the jobs and very way of life in the Gulf region. Yet thousands of jobs have also been lost with the expiration of the biodiesel tax incentive. With Presidential leadership, quick Congressional action can restart the biodiesel industry, thereby restoring those jobs and jumpstarting the country’s march toward a clean energy future,” added Shaw.
The IRFA says reinstating the biodiesel tax incentive would be a real move toward spurring domestic, clean energy production and restoring green collar jobs, as Obama says he wants to do.