Big news for biodiesel
I’ve been on vacation for the past six days, taking a much-needed holiday to visit with family and friends on the East Coast. Before I left, the Senate tax extenders package, which included the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit, was scheduled for markup Aug. 2 by the Senate finance committee, which ended up passing the bipartisan measure that includes a two-year extension of the now-expired biodiesel tax incentive, retroactive back to its expiration on Dec. 31, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013.
Below is a statement from Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, followed by a statement by John Plaza, CEO of Imperium Renewables, one of the largest biodiesel plants in the U.S., located in Grays Harbor, Wash. I’ll be back next week with more biodiesel perspective in Biodiesel Magazine’s FAME Forum.
“This is a refreshing display of bipartisan cooperation to get this economy moving again, and we applaud Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch for their leadership,” Steckel said. “The biodiesel tax incentive is a proven job creator. Growth in our industry has been stagnant since the incentive expired on Dec. 31. Reinstating it will get biodiesel producers across the country back to expanding their businesses and hiring new employees, as they were doing last year with the tax incentive in place. We call on the full Senate to quickly pass this package, and for the House to follow suit so that biodiesel producers can get the certainty they need to begin hiring again.”
The biodiesel tax incentive was first implemented in 2005 and also expired in 2010. After it was reinstated last year, the biodiesel industry grew rapidly and set a new production record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, supporting more than 39,000 jobs across the country.
Plaza said, “We are very pleased that the Senate Finance Committee has approved the bipartisan tax extenders package that includes the $1 per gallon biodiesel blender’s credit. We want to recognize the efforts of Committee leaders, Chairman MaxBaucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, (R-UT), and especially Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for supporting this credit which is critical to our industry. Imperium Grays Harbor employs 45 full time employees, several of whom are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the production of American-made biodiesel. This credit will enable us to increase production, and continue to support family wage jobs in Washington State. In addition, the renewal of this important credit will assist in driving millions in additional revenue to the county of Grays Harbor and the state of Washington in the form of rail and port fees, payroll and sales taxes and other economic benefits. With the passage of the Tax Extenders Package out of the Senate Finance Committee, a strong message of bipartisan support from the Senate leaders highlights the importance of a healthy, domestic biodiesel industry for the nation, and hopefully sets the tone for quick and successful passage in the Senate and the House.”