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 expire.

To continue the desert metaphor, late last week we reached an oasis, of sorts. Friday, the House passed a bill called the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act." The bill, like almost any bill that leaves Congress, divvies up money to a lot of different interests. But most relevant to our readers is the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax incentive, retroactive to December 31st, 2009. Can we get an "Amen" in the house? Or, rather, an "Amen" in the Senate?

Manning Feraci, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) said the reinstatement of the tax credit was good for American jobs:
Since the tax incentive's inception six years ago, the biodiesel industry has created tens of thousands of green jobs, added $4.1 billion to the nation's GDP and generated $828 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments. However, since the incentive has lapsed the industry has shed thousands of jobs, shuttered plants and is struggling to survive. Timely reinstatement of biodiesel tax incentive will undoubtedly reverse this troubling trend and allow the industry to create over 12,000 new jobs in this year alone.
So says NBB. The measure passed by rather slim 215-to-204 margin, but we'll take it.

[Source: National Biodiesel Board | Image: allie caulfield – C.C. 2.0]

PRESS RELEASE

NBB HAILS HOUSE PASSAGE OF BIODIESEL TAX INCENTIVE
CALLS UPON SENATE TO FOLLOW SUIT UPON THEIR RETURN

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, legislation that among other things retroactively extends the biodiesel tax incentive through December 31, 2010. The measure passed the House by a 215 to 204 margin. "The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is pleased that the House has finally passed the biodiesel tax credit," stated Manning Feraci, Vice President of Federal Affairs. "Since the tax incentive's inception six years ago, the biodiesel industry has created tens of thousands of green jobs, added $4.1 billion to the nation's GDP and generated $828 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments. However, since the incentive has lapsed the industry has shed thousands of jobs, shuttered plants and is struggling to survive. Timely reinstatement of biodiesel tax incentive will undoubtedly reverse this troubling trend and allow the industry to create over 12,000 new jobs in this year alone." Biodiesel is the only domestically produced, commercial scale Advanced Biofuel that is readily available and accepted in the marketplace. The biodiesel tax incentive makes biodiesel price competitive with the diesel fuel produced by petroleum companies – an industry that has received billions of dollars in taxpayer support over the previous decades. "There are compelling economic, energy security and environmental benefits associated with displacing petroleum with clean-burning, domestically produced biodiesel. Common sense dictates that the Senate should act swiftly upon their return from the Memorial Day recess and extend this effective public policy." Feraci concluded.

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The National Biodiesel Board is the national trade association of the biodiesel industry and is the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the U.S. NBB's membership is comprised of state, national, and international feedstock and feedstock processor organizations, biodiesel producers, fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers. Additional information about biodiesel is available online at www.biodiesel.org.

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