Biodiesel industry makes strong case for tax credit before Congress

Recently, the National Biodiesel Board’s member company, Ag Processing Inc, testified before a tax-writing committee in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the biodiesel tax incentive. The hearing was focused on the future of tax extenders in a post-comprehensive tax reform world.

“We urge Congress to renew the biodiesel blender’s tax incentive through 2018 at a minimum, while considering a multi-year approach. Doing so would drive new investment and establish market certainty for U.S. farmers, ranchers, petroleum marketers, blenders and fuel retailers,” said Cal Meyer, chief operating officer of Ag Processing Inc.

The committee heard from more than 20 witnesses over the course of four panels. NBB’s witness accurately pointed out that the biodiesel blender’s tax credit has helped achieve the desired goals of expanding domestic production of American energy resources and jobs here at home. The biodiesel industry supports roughly 64,000 jobs, $11.42 billion in economic impact and $2.54 billion in wages paid.

Biodiesel also adds value to other sectors of the economy, like agriculture. For example, biodiesel allows farmers to be more competitive in the global protein market, as demand for biodiesel supports U.S. soybean processing and export opportunities. Lastly, America benefits from fewer toxic pollutants and improved air quality thanks to increased use of biodiesel, which reduces particulate matter by 47 percent, hydrocarbon emissions by 67 percent and lifecycle greenhouse gases by 86 percent.

“The public policy benefits of the tax incentive are clear,” Meyer said. “These benefits, however, will be jeopardized without reinstatement of the biodiesel tax incentive.”

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.