Bills to extend tax credits benefiting biofuels introduced

By Erin Voegele | December 16, 2013

On Dec. 12, Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., introduced two bills that would benefit the biofuels industry. One, H.R., 3758, aims to extend the second generation biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property. The other, H.R. 3757, would extend and increase the tax credit for research and development.

H.R. 3757, also known as the “Second Generation Biofuel Extension Act of 2013,” would extend the second generation biofuel tax credit for one year, extending the expiration date from Jan. 1, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015. It would also extend the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property for one year, though Jan. 1, 2015.

According to information released by Peters, H.R.3758, or the “Igniting American Research Act,” would make the tax credit for research and development permanent. It is currently scheduled to expire at the end of the year. More specifically, the bill would extend the research credit through 2014 and make the Alternative Simplified Credit permanent and increase it from 14 percent to 20 percent.

A statement released by Peters states that the Information Technology and Innovative Foundation has estimated that raising the ASC would increase gross domestic product by $66 billion and create more than 150,000 jobs. The measure is also expected to lower barriers to collaborative research and encourage energy research and biotechnology research consortia.

The Algae Biomass Organization has spoken out to thank Peters for the introduction of the Second Generation Biofuel Extension Act of 2013, noting that Peters chairs the Congressional Algae Caucus. "ABO thanks Congressman Peters for his leadership and his vision for American energy security and economic development," said Mary Rosenthal, executive director of ABO. "America needs new sources of energy, and the advanced biofuels tax credit has provided confidence to companies and investors that are bringing sustainable biofuels into the marketplace. Extending this valuable policy will accelerate the commercialization of competitive, domestically produced fuel from algae and other feedstocks."

The Renewable Fuels Association has applauded introduction of the bill. “Rep. Peters understands the need for Americans to have access to a renewable, low-cost alternative to gasoline and should be commended for taking a stand and fighting for the future of next generation biofuels,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA. “Ethanol has decreased gas prices an average of $1.00/gallon in 2012/2013, created and sustained over 383,000 jobs, increased consumer choice at the pump, and created a more energy independent America. Rep. Peters clearly understands the need to continue this successful program. Investors need certainty and extending the tax credits for second generation biofuels will boost investment and innovation in cellulosic and advanced biofuels.”

Both bills were referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. To date, Reps. Susan DelBene, D-Wash.; Michael Honda, D-Calif.; Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.,; and Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., have signed on to cosponsor H.R. 3757, while H.R. 3758 currently has no cosponsors.