Once again, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is calling on Congress to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive to avoid further disruption to an emerging American industry that is creating jobs across the country while diversifying US energy supplies. NBB doesn’t seem to be making much progress in this effort.
In written testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures for a hearing on expiring tax provisions, NBB Vice-President Anne Steckel emphasized that the biodiesel industry achieved record production of nearly 1.1 billion gallons last year before the $1-per-gallon tax incentive expired on December 31. She urged lawmakers to pass an extension as quickly as possible to prevent a drop in production and potential layoffs.
"This is a bipartisan tax provision that is a proven job-creator and has strong support in Congress," Steckel said. "With petroleum prices where they are now, we shouldn't need any reminders about how important it is to continue developing new American energy sources. We hear a lot in Washington about all-of-the-above energy policies, but the reality is that new energy industries need support in the early stages. Every energy sector up to now has had that support and we have to continue those investments if we want to diversify our energy supplies and gain all of the resulting benefits in terms of jobs, energy security and the environment."
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the United States to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 % when compared with petroleum diesel. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and last year supported more than 39,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in GDP, according to a recent study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm.