40 members of congress urge passage of biofuel tax extenders

By Erin Voegele | November 06, 2019

Forty democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Richard Neal, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, on Nov. 6 urging action on the extension of several biofuel tax credits, including the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit, the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit, and the second generation biofuel producer tax credit.

“As the year draws to a close, we respectfully urge you to find a path forward for the expired clean energy tax incentives that have lapsed in recent years,” they wrote. “Extending the biodiesel, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and second generation biofuel producer tax credits are especially important to the regions we represent. Their extension is not only a step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and would supplement California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard with national incentives for renewable fuel, but also would bring much-needed relief to those that counted on those incentives.”

The letter notes participants across the supply chain are experiencing hardship over the lengthy lapse in credits, including biodiesel producers and farmers.

The lawmakers said they hope Congress can move forward with a legislative package that includes the three credits. “While we recognize the financial constraints in addressing the tax incentives, continuing to delay their extension has real consequences for the industries that use the credits and have been unable to plan as a result of this uncertainty,” they wrote.

The members of Congress also stress that the three credits benefit U.S. energy security, economy and environment. “While Congress has much to address before the end of the legislative session, we ask that these important credits be extended,” they concluded.

The letter is signed by Reps. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa; Kenda Horn, D-Okla.; Cindy Axne, D-Iowa; Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y.; Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; T.J. Cox, D-Conn.; Jim Himes, D-Conn.; Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.; David Cicilline, D-R.I.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; Haley Stevens, D-Mich.; Jim Langevin, D-R.I.; Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.; Max Rose, D-N.Y.; Sean Casten, D-Ill.; Bill Foster, D-Ill.; Jahana Hayes, C-Conn.; Ben McAdams, D-Utah; Robin Kelly, D-Ill.; Tom O'Halleran, D-Ariz.; Chris Pappas, D-N.H.; Ann Kuster, D-N.H.; J. Luis Correa, D-Calif.; Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J; Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.; Rick Larsen, D-Wash.; Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.; Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.; John Garamendi, D-Calif.; and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

Organizations supporting the letter include the National Biodiesel Board, NATSO, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the National Oilseed Processors Association. 

"The biodiesel industry thanks Representatives Finkenauer and Horn for leading the effort and drawing attention to the economic situation facing advanced biofuel producers,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at NBB. “We thank the many other Democrats who represent biodiesel producing states for insisting that their leaders make this a legislative priority before the end of the year.

"Nine biodiesel producers—In Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Texas—have been forced to close, cut production, and lay off workers,” Kovarik continued. “That's because blenders count on Congress to renew the tax credit and demand a discount on the price of biodiesel. As a result, producers have taken a loss for nearly two years now. The entire industry needs Congress to act before the end of the year and renew expired tax extenders."

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from Finkenauer’s website.