NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, said it “denounced” The American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017 introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that seeks to extend the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit but transfer it to producers.
“In previous years, NATSO has worked together with biodiesel producers and the entire renewable fuels community to protect the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit and to support a robust Renewable Fuel Standard,” NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings said in a statement issued April 26. “NATSO supported these policies because it was in the interest of our members’ customers. In recent months, however, domestic biodiesel producers have changed their approach, prioritizing their own bottom line as opposed to those who purchase and consume their product. If these efforts continue, NATSO and the entire fuels marketing community will need to reevaluate its position on the biodiesel tax credit and the entire RFS.
“Moving the biodiesel tax credit to the producer level would force retailers to pay more for fuel. Those costs inevitably will be passed down to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump,” Mullings said. “When fuel prices increase by just 1 or 2 cents per gallon, customers begin to shop for a better deal. This will lead to less biodiesel consumption and thwart government efforts to expand U.S. consumption of cleaner burning fuels. The blenders’ credit for biodiesel is a proven and sound policy that is successfully creating a market for biodiesel and renewable diesel and building consumer acceptance.”
Since 2005, the $1-per-gallon biodiesel blenders’ tax credit has helped fuel retailers to sell biodiesel at a price that is cost competitive with diesel, thereby incentivizing consumer consumption, the Association said. Converting the tax credit from a blenders’ credit to a producers’ credit would drive up biodiesel prices to a degree that would diminish consumer interest in the product, ultimately hindering U.S. efforts to advance the utilization of cleaner-burning fuels, the Association said.
NATSO, based in Alexandria, Virginia, represents the travel plaza and truckstop industry on legislative and regulatory matters.