Senate Panel Advances Biodiesel Tax Incentive

WASHINGTON ‘The National Biodiesel Board called on Congress to act quickly on tax legislation Thursday after the Senate Finance Committee passed a package of tax provisions including an extension of the biodiesel tax incentive.

The $1-per-gallon incentive for biodiesel expired on Dec. 31, 2013. Biodiesel is an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel made from a variety of resources including soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fats. Congress also allowed the biodiesel incentive to expire in 2010 and 2012.

‘This is the third time in five years that the biodiesel incentive has lapsed, making it incredibly difficult for biodiesel businesses to plan for expansion or build infrastructure,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, the industry trade association. ‘We applaud the Senate Finance Committee for taking the first step toward extending it and urge the House and Senate to continue the committee’s bipartisan work by acting quickly to extend this credit so the biodiesel industry can get back to work”

‘The U.S. biodiesel industry has plants in almost every state in the country, and this tax incentive is something Congress can pass today to stimulate growth and economic activity at all of them,” Steckel added. ‘This incentive is a job creator, and it also pays tremendous dividends in terms of reducing harmful emissions and strengthening our energy security.”

The bill passed in committee Thursday would reinstate the biodiesel incentive retroactively to Jan. 1, 2014, and extend it through the end of 2015. The incentive also covers renewable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, a similar diesel alternative.

Biodiesel is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the EPA’s definition as an Advanced Biofuel – meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. Produced in nearly every state in the country, the industry has exceeded RFS requirements in every year of the program and produced a record of nearly 1.8 billion gallons last year, supporting more than 62,000 jobs nationwide.

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