Finkenauer introduces House bill to extend biodiesel tax credit

By The Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer | April 04, 2019

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, introduced the “Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act,” a two-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit. Congress had previously extended the tax credit retroactively for 2017 but left it expired for 2018 and beyond. Producers and businesses at every stage of the biodiesel production and consumption process rely on these tax credits to plan their investments, grow their businesses and pass on the savings to consumers. 

“This legislation extends the biodiesel tax credit vital to Iowa’s economy at a time when farm income is at its lowest point in more than a decade and farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing trade disputes,” Finkenauer said. “Biodiesel production supports over 60,000 jobs across the United States and generates an economic impact of over $11 billion. A low-carbon source of energy, biodiesel is good for the environment and is a crucial part of a green economy.”

Finkenauer worked with Democrats and Republicans to develop the legislation. 

“Biodiesel is an important part of the energy sector, and an industry that is creating good-paying jobs in many rural communities throughout America including Erie, Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pennsylvania. “It’s critical that we extend the biodiesel tax credit to further encourage economic growth, enhance U.S. energy security, and foster innovation that is good for our environment. I am a proud sponsor of this bill. Let’s offer the same tax incentives to the biodiesel industry that we offer to other energy producers!"

The tax credits lower the cost of diesel for American truckers and drivers; absent a strong domestic biodiesel industry, consumers would take a $10.6 billion annual hit. 

“This legislation underscores the fact that the biodiesel tax credit has strong Democratic support in the House of Representatives," said David Fialkov, vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Truck Stop Owners. “The authors of this legislation understand that the biodiesel tax credit helps create jobs, reduce the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, and enables fuel retailers to offer more competitively priced diesel fuel, which in turn lowers the price of all consumer goods that are moved by truck. The biodiesel tax credit has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. It’s time to get this done.”

“NBB and its members continue to appreciate the strong bipartisan support in Congress for biodiesel and renewable diesel industry workers,” said Kurt Kovarik, the National Biodiesel Board’s vice president of federal affairs. “Because the biodiesel tax incentive has been expired for 15 months, many companies and their employees are facing an uncertain future at a time when the agricultural economy is already hurting. The economic pressure is threatening the future of the industry, putting good-paying, blue-collar jobs at stake. We appreciate the introduction of this bill to provide the biodiesel industry certainty for 2018 and 2019.”

“We want to thank Congresswoman Finkenauer for taking a leadership role on this vital biodiesel issue and for working with the House Democratic leadership to prioritize reinstating the biodiesel tax credit,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association. “This will give a much-needed boost to Iowa biodiesel producers and help grow the rural economy.”

“Diversifying our fuel supply is good for our economy, energy security and environment,” Finkenauer added. “It’s inexcusable that Congress allowed this vital tax credit to expire—Iowa producers, retailers, and consumers need stability now more than ever.”

*Editor’s Note: The House legislative language mirrors the biodiesel tax incentive provision in Senate legislation introduced Feb. 28 by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, respectively.