Bill provides tax incentives for investments in biogas projects

By Erin Voegele | July 15, 2019

Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y., reintroduced the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act on July 12. The bill aims to provide tax incentives for farmers and rural electric cooperatives who invest in biogas technology.

The legislation would allow biodigesters to quality for an energy tax credit that is on-par with the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy, reducing the costs for dairy farms to install biodigesters that offer a new revenue stream while decreasing pollution and runoff issues.

Following its introduction July 12, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. To date, Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.; Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.; Peter Welch, D-Vt.; Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc.; Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Michael Simpson, R-Idaho; and Chris Collings, R-N.Y., have signed on to cosponsor the legislation.

“Wisconsin’s dairy farmers fuel our state’s overall economy to the tune of $43.4 billion a year,” Kind said. “By providing these tax incentives, we are making it more affordable and accessible for Wisconsin dairy farmers to pursue biogas technology and ensuring they can continue to create jobs and grow their businesses, while protecting our natural resources. It’s just commonsense.” 

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

“The reintroduction of the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI-03) and Tom Reed (R-NY-23) will help incentivize investment in digester and nutrient recovery technologies,” said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council. “This bill will assist farmers and agricultural producers in addressing environmental challenges such as nutrient run off and farm odors while simultaneously creating marketable commodities. We see this as a significant boost to the on-farm economy.”

The American Biogas Association has spoken out in support of the bill. “The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act is a boost to on-farm economies and watershed protection everywhere. When biogas systems recycle manure and its nutrients, we have cleaner waterways and healthier soil,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the ABC. “This bill that Congressmen Ron Kind and Tom Reed have introduced incentivizes private investment in digester and nutrient recovery technologies which will create new jobs and protect our air, water and soil.”

Additional information on the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, or H.R. 3744, is available on Congress.gov