40 House Democrats urge Pelosi, Neal to pass biodiesel tax credit

By The Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer | November 06, 2019

U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) and Kendra Horn (OK-05) led a Democratic caucus letter to House leadership urging action on extension of the biodiesel tax credit. Specifically, the lawmakers are asking for extensions of the biodiesel, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and second-generation biofuel producer tax credits.

In the letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, the representatives wrote, “…we respectfully urge you to find a path forward for the expired clean energy tax incentives that have lapsed in recent years. Extending the biodiesel, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and second-generation biofuel producer tax credits are especially important to the regions we represent. Their extension is not only a step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions…, but also would bring much-needed relief to those that counted on these incentives.”

Joining Finkenauer and Horn on the letter were 38 additional Democratic representatives.

“The biodiesel tax credit has become vital to Iowa’s economy by bringing down gas prices, creating opportunities for farmers and biofuel producers, and bringing down greenhouse gas emissions,” Finkenauer said. “Especially now, with farm income at its lowest point in more than a decade and our farmers caught in the cross-hairs of the president’s trade war with China, is not the time to walk away from tax credits that have become so important to Iowa’s soybean growers. Extending these tax credits has the support of members of Congress from New Mexico to New Hampshire, and I am hopeful that Speaker Pelosi will see the names on this letter and understand how important this is to the rural areas many of us represent.” 

Congresswoman Horn said, “Businesses need certainty to operate efficiently and effectively. Congress made a commitment that if businesses invested in alternative fuels, we would support them with these tax credits. We must keep our promise so they can continue to provide this fuel alternative and save money for consumers.”

Organizations supporting the letter include the National Biodiesel Board, NATSO, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the National Oilseed Processors Association. 

Earlier this year, Finkenauer introduced a bipartisan bill to extend the biodiesel tax credit for two years. The bill currently has 64 cosponsors in the House and is referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Support for passage of biodiesel tax credit extension:

Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president, said, “Extending the biodiesel tax credit is important to America’s farmers and ranchers because it expands the market for U.S. agricultural products. That’s critically important now, as farmers face a perfect storm of challenges from the farm economy, ongoing trade issues and volatile weather. Biodiesel and biofuel production facilities strengthen rural communities, providing jobs and growing tax revenues. On a broader scale, biodiesel improves our nation’s energy security by diversifying our domestic supply and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. And, it enhances the environment, providing a cleaner-burning renewable replacement for diesel fuel. We urge Congress to extend the biodiesel tax credits now.” 

Tom Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel, said, “The U.S. biodiesel industry is at a crossroads because of the nearly two-year lapse of the biodiesel tax incentive. Producers are operating in the red while counting on Congress to once again renew tax incentives. Several have idled plants and laid off staff. We appreciate the efforts of Rep. Abby Finkenauer to resolve the crisis and provide some welcome news to Iowa’s farmers and biofuel producers.”

Tim Bardole, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said, “We appreciate Congresswoman Finkenauer's ongoing effort to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive and provide certainty for rural Iowa. She has shown an understanding of the role that the tax incentive plays in supporting a critical market for Iowa soybean farmers. Rapid renewal would give a much-needed boost to the biodiesel industry and help restore soybean demand. We urge House leadership to bring an extension of the biodiesel tax incentive up for immediate consideration.”

Douglas Beech, legal counsel and director of government relations at Casey’s General Stores, said, “Fuel retailers like Casey’s have made investments in biofuel infrastructure for many years because it good for the environment, our farmers and rural communities. These investments have helped us become more energy independent, environmentally friendly, and also to offer competitive fuel prices to our customers. We are grateful to Congresswoman Finkenauer for her leadership on this issue and encourage members of both parties to work together to extend the biodiesel tax credit.”

R.J. Rymas, vice president of fuels for Road Ranger Truck Stops and Travel Centers, said, “The biodiesel tax credit helps Road Ranger bring to market cleaner burning fuels that support the local Iowa economy while also bringing down prices for our customers. It is a win-win for us. We are very grateful for Congresswoman Finkenauer’s leadership in helping extend this important policy.”

To read the letter and view the signatories, click here.

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