WASHINGTON – Congress needs to quickly extend the biodiesel tax credit to prevent severe disruption of the U.S. biodiesel industry. National Farmers Union has joined more than 40 groups in a letter today urging House leadership to extend the now expired incentive before the end of the year.
Biodiesel production has declined in part due to uncertainty over the tax incentive, which was last addressed in February 2018 to retroactively cover 2017 but has not been extended since. Without this incentive, the once promising domestic biodiesel industry has stalled. Since the beginning of 2019, nine biodiesel plants have closed or reduced production, cutting or furloughing workers.
Biodiesel has a range of economic and environmental benefits. Biodiesel is a renewable piece of U.S. domestic energy independence, and releases less carbon and fewer toxic pollutants than certain other fuels. Biodiesel production is important for farmers as it creates value for agricultural coproducts and lowers the cost of animal feed. The industry has also created more than 65,000 domestic jobs, many in economically disadvantaged areas.
The letter asks that Congress immediately take up and pass legislation to provide a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentives, and work forward on a long-term biodiesel tax policy.
“The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry’s continued success is at stake,” the groups wrote in the letter. “Tens of thousands of American workers and manufacturers—as well as the millions of Americans who benefit from cleaner air and water—are depending on you to provide our industry the certainty we need to continue our growth.”