US biodiesel producers push for renewed financial aids

US Capitol at dusk as seen from the eastern side. Source: Wikimedia Commons, by  Martin Falbisoner.
US Capitol at dusk as seen from the eastern side. Source: Wikimedia Commons, by Martin Falbisoner.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has joined with other associations, calling for a retroactive renewal of biodiesel tax credits and tax breaks.

The 19 December letters call for “retroactive, multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive” and a “seamless, multi‐year extension of the tax extenders” respectively.

As the Republican Congress focuses on their tax reforms, the association is lobbying lawmakers to keep biofuel incentives in a separate bill, which they hope to pass by the end of the 2017.

Each year, the US government processes ‘tax extenders’—tax breaks that expired the previous year but that can be retroactively reinstated to cover the current year.

Bills were introduced to the Senate and House in April and May respectively to increase tax credits for biodiesel as far as 2020.

Each letter has an impressive number of signatories. A number of biofuel, biodiesel and tangentially related organisations (like the American Truckers Association) signed the call for tax extensions, NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov commenting in a press release that “It is not every day that these groups all join the same letter, and that should tell policymakers something.”

The second, which is signed by over 50 trade bodies across a range of industries, calls for the renewal of tax credits to cover companies in 2017. Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer at the National Biodiesel Board said: “Tens of thousands of US jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, trucking and other industries are at risk. The clock is ticking, and we hope that Congress acts quickly to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit.”

In the wake of push back from refineries and Southern politicians over increased RIN costs, the board has also submitted a letter to the White House with suggestions to resolve the issue without capping prices. The suggestions included increased marketplace transparency (RINs are currently traded in an opaque market) to negate opportunities for market manipulation, and making biofuel tax credits permanent to stabilise outputs and RIN prices.

US Capitol at dusk as seen from the eastern side. Source: Wikimedia Commons, by Martin Falbisoner.