Biodiesel leaders talk jobs, money with key political influencers
When it comes to American biodiesel, jobs and economic opportunities are the hot tickets. In Washington, D.C., from across the nation, biodiesel industry leaders are meeting with key influencers to spotlight America’s advanced biofuel.
“It’s simple,” said Donnell Rehagan, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel can continue to grow American jobs and prosperity in communities throughout the nation. Our members are making real investments and significant impacts across America, and they want to do more.”
The American biodiesel industry currently supports 64,000 jobs across the U.S. Many are the highest paying and most affluent jobs in the county or region.
“These aren’t just jobs,” Rehagen said. “They’re great jobs. But American biodiesel will not reach its full potential under the current regulatory framework. Changes that ensure American tax dollars and American programs support American production are just common sense.”
NBB governing board and executive staff members are in D.C. this week meeting with key leaders to discuss reforming the biodiesel tax incentive as a domestic production credit. The move would open the door for the industry to support an impressive 81,600 U.S. jobs and $14.7 billion in total economic benefit.
Under the current blenders structure of the incentive, foreign fuel imported and blended with petroleum diesel in the U.S. is eligible for the tax incentive. In 2016, importers brought in more than 1 billion gallons of fuel under the program, making up nearly a third of the U.S. market.
In addition to tax reform, leaders will push for additional growth in the Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations. Biodiesel producers have more than 1.5 billion gallons of unused production capacity that stands ready to be utilized.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement used in existing diesel engines. It is the quickest and easiest way to transition a fleet to renewable, American-made alternative energy. Americans used nearly 2.9 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel last year.