Bill aims to create tax incentives for renewable chemicals

By Erin Voegele | November 18, 2015

Sen Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., recently introduced legislation that aims to provide tax credits for the production of renewable chemicals and investments in renewable chemical production facilities.

The Renewable Chemicals Act of 2015, or S. 2271, would provide create a 15 cent-per-pound production tax credit for eligible renewable chemicals manufactured from biomass feedstock. Alternatively, the bill would allow producers to elect to take a 30 percent investment tax credit for qualified investments for new renewable chemical production facilities in lieu of the production tax credit.

The bill defines renewable chemicals as those made from renewable biomass and used as or for the production of chemical products, polymers, plastics, formulated products. The biobased content of eligible renewable chemicals must be at least 95 percent. According to the text of the legislation, eligible products include those that are reliant upon biological conversion, thermal conversion or combination or combination of the two, and are not sold or used for the production of food, feed, or fuel.

The legislation was introduced Nov. 10 and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. To date, Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Al Franken, D-Minn., have signed on to cosponsor the measure. A companion bill, H.R. 3390, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in late July.

 “Creating incentives in tax policy will help drive U.S. industrial biotech companies to continue to innovate and develop new renewable products in the chemical space. Incentives that support renewable chemicals will promote enhanced innovation in the chemical industry, the construction of next generation integrated biorefineries while creating new jobs and enhancing environmental benefits,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s Industrial & Environmental Section.

“We thank Sen. Stabenow for her leadership in support of initiatives that help grow the biobased economy and boost the agriculture and manufacturing sectors in America,” Erickson continued. “This legislation will allow U.S. companies to better compete in a rapidly growing global chemicals market.”

A full copy of the bill can be downloaded from the U.S. Government Publishing Office website.