GREEN Act includes extension, phaseout of biodiesel tax credit

By Ron Kotrba | November 19, 2019

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California, chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, released a discussion draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act, which includes a wide range of incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency to combat climate change “by using the tax code to extend and expand renewable energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” a press release by Thompson’s office stated.

Among the myriad measures included in the proposal is a multiyear extension of the biodiesel tax credit (Section 201), which would keep the incentive at its current rate of $1 per gallon for 2018 through 2021, reducing it to 75 cents per gallon in 2022, 50 cents in 2023 and 33 cents in 2024, after which it would expire. The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the proposal.  

“We appreciate the recognition—through this proposed long-term extension—that the biodiesel industry is integral to our domestic energy needs,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “We look forward to working with our supporters on Capitol Hill to ensure that consumers, producers and marketers benefit from a long-term, forward-looking pro-growth tax policy.”

Thompson said, “Estimates say that climate change will cost Americans more than $500 billion each year by the end of this century. We cannot afford to wait any longer to address this existential threat. Today I am proud to lead my colleagues in unveiling the GREEN Act, a comprehensive approach to addressing the threat of climate change through our tax code. This bill will build on existing tax incentives that promote renewable energy and increase efficiency and create new models for technology and activity to reduce our carbon footprint. I’ve long said that if we don’t address climate change, nothing else matters as we won’t have a planet to pass on to our next generation. The GREEN Act is a critical step forward in our fight to tackle climate change head on.”

The GREEN Act extends current renewable energy tax incentives and creates new models to increase the use of green energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The bill will:

-Promote the use of green energy technologies and incentivize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through new and existing tax benefits;

-Increase energy efficiency and green energy use in both residential and commercial buildings;

-Support the use of zero-emission transportation and supporting infrastructure;

-Invest in a green workforce through energy credits for manufacturers;

-Advance environmental justice through tax credits for research and academic programs; and

-Require the Treasury Department to analyze the feasibility of a price on greenhouse gas emissions, using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

“I applaud Congressman Thompson for leading the creation of this framework,” said Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “The climate crisis requires bold action, and I’m pleased that we’re using the legislative tools at Ways and Means’ disposal to create green jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and help heal our planet. We look forward to hearing from stakeholders to ensure this bill is effective in helping improve energy efficiency and eliminating carbon emissions.”

The GREEN Act was drafted in collaboration with a long list of members of the committee and is supported by numerous renewable fuel organizations.

“The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a long-term tax extension to provide certainty and predictably for producers and feedstock providers,” Kovarik said. “Too often, the credit has been allowed to lapse and then be reinstated retroactively, which does not provide the certainty businesses need to plan, invest and create jobs. Since the start of the year, 10 biodiesel plants have been forced to cut production or close and lay off workers due to policy uncertainty. The biodiesel industry needs an immediate multiyear extension of the tax incentive—at a minimum for 2018, 2019 and 2020—to stem the losses.”

To read the discussion draft, click here. To view a section-by-section contents of the legislation, click here.

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