Bill aims to provide tax incentive for biogas investments

By Erin Voegele | June 22, 2017

Reps. Rom Reed, R-N.Y, and Ron Kind, D-Wisc., recently introduced the House version of the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, which provides incentives for farmers and rural electric cooperatives to invest in biogas and nutrient recovery technology.

The bill, H.R. 2853, was introduced on June 8 and referred to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill aims to allow biogas technology to qualify for an energy tax credit that is on-par with the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy. According to information released by Reed, the legislation is geared toward properties that use anaerobic digesters or other biological, chemical, thermal or mechanical processes to make biogas that is at least 52 percent methane as well as nutrient recovery systems which make digesters run more efficiently and reduce harmful waste runoff.

“We must help our dairy farmers find a cost effective way to use processes that are environmentally friendly. This tax credit will make these new technologies more affordable and the use of such methods will benefit our communities,” Reed said.

“Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, responsible for $88.3 billion in economic activity and 413,500 jobs, is critical to the increasing job creation and growing the local economy. By making it more affordable for Wisconsin farmers to pursue biogas technology we make sure they have more resources to create jobs and protect our natural resources for future generations,” Kind said.

The Senate version of the bill, S. 988, was introduced in late April by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Pat Roberts, R-Kan.