US biodiesel leaders take to Congress, call for tax reform

In the US, nearly three dozen biodiesel leaders from Kansas to Rhode Island took to the halls of Congress this week to promote US advanced biofuel.

“We have a great message to share with our elected officials. Biodiesel is working today to support jobs, diversify our fuel options and support American energy security,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO, Donnell Rehagen.

“We want our messages and our success story to be top of mind now and when any tax extenders or reform is considered.”

The US biodiesel market has grown by nearly 2 billion gallons in the last ten years, bringing with it support for nearly 48,000 jobs and $1.9 billion (€1.79bn) in wages across the country, according to the NBB.

“We want to do all we can to ensure our elected leaders know the decisions they make in D.C. make a difference in our back yards and our communities across the nation. Effective federal policy has helped level the playing field for our relatively new product. This is about so much more than a standard or tax code. It’s about real people, making a real difference to bring jobs and economic growth all while supporting clean air and renewable fuel options,” Rehagen explained.  

Blender’s credit to producer’s credit

The group was specifically calling to extend the biodiesel tax incentive and move it from a blender’s tax credit to a producer’s tax credit.

The current blender’s credit is slated to expire 31 December, 2016, and proposed legislation that would adjust the credit to support domestic production over imports has strong bi-partisan support in the House and Senate.

US biodiesel producers have more than 1.5 billion gallons of unused production capacity that stands ready to be utilised under the right policy framework.

Mobilising that capacity would create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, NBB claims.

Under the current “blender’s” structure of the incentive, foreign biodiesel imported to and blended with petroleum diesel in the US is eligible for the tax incentive.

NBB says that foreign biodiesel producers are increasingly taking advantage of the US incentive by shipping their product to the country.

In 2015, some 670 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel were imported to the US, making up nearly a third of the market.

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