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USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today at the National Press Club in downtown Washington that his agency would give a boost to biofuel producers through a Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Vilsack said the USDA will soon publish the BCAP's final rule, and that means eligible biomass producers will be able to get money from the USDA. The BCAP operated as a trial program last year. Here's how it works:

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var digg_url = 'http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/02/house-passes-biodiesel-tax-credit-bill-moves-on-to-senate/'; Since late 2009, commercial biodiesel producers and users across the U.S. have been wandering through the diesel desert, shamefully living off petroleum, thirsting for just one more drop of renewable fuel to put in our tanks. That's because last December, Congress allowed the biodiesel tax credit, an incentive that helped make biodiesel cost-competitive with petroleum diesel, to

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We feel like a broken record around here when we say "biodiesel is having a hard time." Yes, the biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of 2009. Yes, the EU has tariffed U.S. biodiesel off the continent. Yes, the economy has totally crunked, forcing many small biodiesel operators to shutter their doors.

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According to the real-time counter on the homepage of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), it's been 108 days since the $1.00 per gallon biodiesel tax credit expired. With an entire industry stalled and no clear end to the biodiesel purgatory in sight, more and more groups are petitioning their legislators to bring the tax credit back. Most recently, the National Association of Truckstop Operators (NATSO) added its voice to the growing roar of angry alt-fuel proponents.

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Not that long ago, forecaster Don Reynolds said that biodiesel is poised to make a big comeback in 2010, a time of "recovery and renewed momentum" for the industry. The U.S. Senate has done its part to make Reynolds look smart by passing a bill that includes the reinstatement of the biodiesel blenders' tax credit. The $1 per gallon credit expired at the end of 2009 but the recently passed bill makes it retroactive to the beginning of 2010 and continues it for the whole year. The House has alread

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While biodiesel advocates go about setting up sustainability principles, the EU and the U.S. are in a growing dispute over the biofuel. The problem is that the Europeans see the $1-a-gallon tax credit that the U.S. provides for B99 (made up of 99 percent biodiesel and one percent petro-diesel) as an unfair subsidy that is harming the European biodiesel market. The EU's response: slap new (but temporary) tariffs on biodiesel imports from the U.S., maybe. The European Commission is looking into ap

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) says that the IRS' ruling "could leave promising biodiesel industry on a 'bridge to nowhere'" thanks to a loophole in the federal tax "that was designed to stimulate an emerging technology" but is instead being used by big oil companies for their own benefit.

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Most roads are build and maintained using funds that governments collect from taxes on gasoline. So, what happens when you use alternative fuels, including some you make yourself? You might get a knock on the door from the Illinois Department of Revenue, asking for money. That's what happened to one biofuel-loving retired couple. Also, that 15-year-old in the UK who made his own biodiesel (see below) was hit with a per-liter tax, wasn't he? Techdirt lists a few other such cases, and their commen

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