Biodiesel Incentive Shot Down Again; Dem Calls it “Stunt”

John Davis

The federal $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax credit failed to move forward yet again today, as one of the top Democrats in the U.S. Senate dismissed the effort as a “stunt.”

The Senate defeated Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R-IA, pictured on right) attempt to retroactively revive the credit as part of a small business bill by a vote of 41-58… far short of the 67 votes needed. Meanhwhile, the Des Moines Register reports that Senate Finance Committee, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, called Grassley’s motion and another GOP proposal “as stunts meant to score political points.”

“These motions are the way that folks try to embarrass other people,” he said.

Grassley spokeswoman Beth Pellett Levine said he “has been stonewalled by the Democratic leadership for nearly a year now. There isn’t anybody who would blame him for doing everything possible to pass the noncontroversial biodiesel tax credit.”

The industry is now looking toward having the subsidy included in legislation that would extend a number of tax provisions.

Said Grassley, “I have confidence that eventually the biodiesel tax incentive will be passed, but I hope it’s not too late for the thousands of people across the country who are already out of work because of the lapse.”

The American Soybean Association was critical of the Senate’s action:

“ASA is severely disappointed in the failure of the Senate to extend the biodiesel tax credit,” Joslin said. “At a time when jobs and renewable energy production are cited as top priorities, it is unacceptable that Congress would fail to extend the biodiesel tax credit. The biodiesel tax credit has a direct impact on jobs and it is a homegrown renewable energy source – the first and only advanced biofuel commercially produced in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the National Biodiesel Board said the lack of certainty over whether the subsidy will return is killing the biodiesel industry.

Biodiesel, Government, Legislation