Legislation introduced to establish PTC for biochemicals

By Erin Voegele | July 10, 2013

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., recently introduced legislation that aims to allow renewable chemical producers access to production tax credits. The bill, S. 1267, was introduced June 27 and referred to the Committee on Finance.

A copy of the bill, titled the “Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2013,” provided by Stabenow’s office specifies that the bill would add a new section to Internal Revenue Code. The new section, would establish a renewable chemical production tax credit equal to 15 cents per pound of eligible content of renewable chemical produced by a taxpayer. Eligible content is defined as the biobased content percentage of the total mass of organic carbon in a chemical.

Under the bill, the biobased content percentage would be determined by testing samples of the product using ASTM D6866. According to ASTM International documentation, ASTM D6866 includes 12 standard test methods for determining the biobased content of solid, liquid or gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis.

For the purposes of the tax credit, the term renewable chemical is defined to mean a chemical produced by a U.S. taxpayer that is used in the production of polymers, plastics, formulated products, but is not sold or used for the production of food, feed or fuel. Chemicals that contain less than 25 percent biobased content are excluded from the definition. Chemicals produced at quantities of 10 million pounds or more in 2000 from renewable biomass would also be exempt from claiming the credit.

“When we grow things here and make things here we create jobs here. These tax cuts for our domestic bio-based manufacturing companies will help spur innovation, grow the economy and create jobs across the country,” said Stabenow in a statement.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization has spoken out in support of the bill. “Creating a level playing field in tax policy will help U.S. industrial biotech companies innovate and develop new products,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “Putting homegrown technologies to work will create high-quality rural jobs, spur economic growth, and improve environmental health. We thank Senator Stabenow for supporting innovation and helping U.S. companies compete in a rapidly growing global chemicals market.”