Biodiesel Producers, Congressional Champions Rally for Biodiesel Tax Credit

By The National Biodiesel Board | July 15, 2019

On the morning of May 1, five U.S. representatives and three senators stood with biodiesel producers to rally in support of the biodiesel tax incentive. The event highlighted Congress’ bipartisan, bicameral support for the more than 60,000 workers across the U.S. that the biodiesel industry supports.

The National Biodiesel Board worked with the offices of Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; and Reps. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa; Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois; Darin LaHood, R-Illinois; Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; and Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut; to organize the event on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. NBB members and their employees also worked to make the event a success, with representatives of Newport Biodiesel, Hero BX, American GreenFuels, Western Dubuque Biodiesel, the Illinois Soybean Association, Archer Daniels Midland and Renewable Energy Group.

“Biodiesel’s footprint is all over the country—Washington and Oregon, Connecticut and Rhode Island,” Grassley noted as he kicked off the rally. “There’s been a lot of talk about the need to promote green energy and reduce our carbon emissions. And this product goes a long way in helping us accomplish that goal. The biodiesel tax credit is a very effective and proven provision to accomplish that goal.” Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is a cosponsor of Senate legislation (S.617) that would extend for two years all tax credits that expired in 2017.

In the House of Representatives, Finkenauer is the lead sponsor of the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (H.R.2089). She worked with Democrats and Republicans to develop the legislation, introduced April 4, which would specifically extend the biodiesel tax incentive for 2018 and 2019. Congress last extended the tax credit retroactively for 2017 but left it expired for 2018 and beyond. The members of Congress echoed the sentiment that extension of the tax credit was coming nearly a year and a half late for the industry.

“This comes at a time when farm income is at its lowest point in more than a decade and farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing trade disputes,” Finkenauer said. “I came to Congress to give Iowans a seat at the table and to make sure that our government stops kicking the can down the road on issues that affect Iowa’s economy and rural communities. It’s common sense and I was glad to work with my Republican colleagues on this important issue.”

Finkenauer continues to champion the biodiesel tax credit extension legislation. On May 25, over Memorial Day weekend, the congresswoman held a Biodiesel Day, visiting and speaking with constituents and employees at Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley and Big River Resources in Dyersville within her district.

“When you have the House controlled by one party and the Senate by another, anything we do we have to find common ground, and it is happening,” Finkenauer said. “We absolutely have to get this done to help our soybean farmers.”

Donnell Rehagen, NBB CEO, said, “The National Biodiesel Board and its member companies thank Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer for her leadership in making the biodiesel tax incentive a priority for this Congress. The biodiesel industry supports more than 60,000 jobs across the United States, and all of those workers are counting on Congress to get the job done and renew the tax incentive as quickly as possible.”

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