Point of View

Passage of tax incentive marks launching point, not finishing point
By Joseph Jobe | October 01, 2004
The biodiesel industry has achieved a goal that has inspired us for nearly four years. The day we have looked forward to since the campaign began for the biodiesel tax incentive has finally arrived.

Passage of the tax incentive is a green light to the existing biodiesel plants in the nation and several others that are waiting in the wings to expand production of American-made biodiesel. It is also a green light for more use of biodiesel by groups across the nation like Chrysler, who just announced that it will fill its new Liberty Jeeps with a 5 percent blend of biodiesel at the factory. This legislation offers the bright promise of more such announcements to come.

This landmark legislation would not have been realized without the courageous biodiesel champions in Congress. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Representative Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., and others have been tireless advocates of this legislation. Biodiesel manufacturers played a critical role in lending their support and resources to get this legislation passed. We are also grateful for the support from our friends and allies in the ethanol industry. The contribution of soybean growers to this process cannot be overstated. The investment of soybean farmers to help develop this industry, as well as their unwavering commitment to the success of this campaign, has been truly inspiring. The biodiesel industry will always be indebted to America's soybean farmers for their continued commitment to this industry.

This legislation will significantly energize the biodiesel industry, and it will benefit all Americans. Every gallon of biodiesel we use will be one less gallon we need to import from the Middle East, and we all know energy security is inseparable from national security. Additionally, it's estimated that the biodiesel tax incentive could create as many as 50,000 new jobs in the United States over the next 10 years. Let's also remember that biodiesel is cleaner burning and will help our air quality. This legislation is good for the biodiesel industry and all Americans.

But this success doesn't mean we are finished. Years from now I think many of us will look back on this moment as the true launching point for the industry. The tax incentive is a part of our long-term vision. It's something we have planned for, and it is going to help us build on the strong foundation we have laid. It is more important than ever that our industry remain unified and committed. With this success comes a whole new series of challenges. To use a baseball analogy, after years of clawing our way up through the ranks of the minor leagues, we have just been called up to "The Show." We can all look forward to biodiesel truly making a difference to this nation's energy future.

Joseph Jobe
National Biodiesel Board
Executive Director
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