Failure once again to renew the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive is putting jobs and the industry’s growth at risk. The incentive lapses on Dec. 31st of this year, and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has sent out a warning letter to Congress as that date grows near.
“This marks the third time in five years that this incentive will have expired,” Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), wrote in the letter. “The uncertainty this creates is a major reason why we are still so dependent on petroleum. It is incredibly disruptive, not just to biodiesel plants across the country but also to our bipartisan goals of creating jobs in new domestic energy industries and boosting our energy security by diversifying our fuel supplies.”
“Biodiesel producers, many of them small companies, are reluctant to add new jobs when there is a strong likelihood that the incentive will disappear,” the letter continues. “Many are forced to cut back production when the incentive expires, causing job losses and even plant closures.”
Steckel added that NBB is pleased to see the ongoing discussion around tax reform but urged the lawmakers to not hold up tax extenders while those long-term negotiations continue.
Losing the tax incentive comes as a second recent blow to biodiesel, as the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed limiting biodiesel volumes under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons for the next two years.