Biodiesel stakeholders, including the American Soybean Association (ASA) and soybean industry partners, continue to make the case to Congress for extending the biodiesel tax credit before it expires at the end of the year. Representatives of the U.S. biodiesel industry testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday in support of passage of a seamless extension of the biodiesel tax incentive.
The biodiesel industry has a compelling story to tell considering the drop-off in production, plant closures, and job losses that were experienced when the tax credit lapsed in 2010 compared to the record production and positive economic impact in 2011. With the incentive’s reinstatement this year, the industry has set a new production record of more than 802 million gallons through October. By year’s end the industry will likely triple last year’s volume of approximately 315 million gallons. Based on economic analysis conducted for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the increased production will support more than 31,000 jobs this year while generating at least $3 billion in GDP and $628 million in federal, state and local tax revenues. NBB has created an editorial/letter-to-the-editor that biodiesel supporters can personalize and send to their local newspapers.
The $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit is slated to expire on Dec. 31, and prospects for Congress extending any of the expiring tax credits are limited. While most of the expiring credits can be extended retroactively next year without major impact, loss of the biodiesel credit will be felt immediately. Currently the focus is on renewing the payroll tax cut, extending unemployment benefits, and completing the FY2012 Appropriations bills before Congress adjourns for the year. While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated a desire to address the tax extenders package before they leave, indications are that the tax extenders package is more likely to be addressed in early 2012.