Representatives of the U.S. biodiesel industry are urging Congress to pass a seamless extension of the biodiesel tax incentive. The $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit is slated to expire on Dec. 31. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to extend it for three years. Proponents of the bill testified this week in a hearing on alternative energy tax incentives, held by the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on energy, natural resources and infrastructure.
“This tax incentive is a job creator and Congress will be putting jobs in jeopardy if it adjourns without passing an extension,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
The tax incentive was allowed to expire in 2010 but was reinstated this year. Since the reinstatement, the biodiesel industry has set a new production record of more than 802 million gallons through October. That is more than double last year’s volume of about 315 million gallons. Increased production supports more than 31,000 jobs this year while generating at least $3 billion in gross domestic product and $628 million in federal, state and local tax revenues, according to a recent economic study conducted by CardnoENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm.
“Stable, long-term federal incentives are necessary for this industry to continue to grow,” Paul Soanes, president and CEO of Texas-based Renewable Biofuels, Inc (RBF) said at the hearing.
Soanes said RBF has increased production at its plant in Port Neches, Texas from 9 million gallons in 2010 to more than 62 million gallons this year, hiring new employees and investing in capital improvements. Similar stories are taking place within the biodiesel industry across the United States.