The US biodiesel industry
applauded Wednesday as the US House cleared a year-end
fiscal package that reinstates the biodiesel tax incentive for
2012 and 2013.
President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign the bill
into law, according to leading biodiesel industry trade
"It's been a long year with a lot of missed opportunity and
lost jobs in the biodiesel industry. But we're pleased that
Congress has finally approved an extension so that we can get
production back on track," said Anne Steckel, vice president of
federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
"This is not an abstract issue. In the coming months, because
of this decision, we'll begin to see real economic impacts with
companies expanding production and hiring new employees."
The biodiesel tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2011. A recent
study found that the industry would have produced an additional
300 million gallons this year with the tax incentive in place.
That would have supported some 19,213 additional jobs, for a
total of 83,258 jobs supported by the industry nationwide,
according to the study, conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an
international economics consulting firm.
Looking to next year, the study found that the industry would
support some 112,078 jobs nationally with the tax credit in
place versus 81,977 without it. Additionally, the return of the
incentive is projected to increase household
income by some $1.6 billion next year while supporting an
additional $3.1 billion in GDP.
Along with these economic benefits, Steckel emphasized that
biodiesel is helping reduce America's dependence on imported
petroleum and making the country less vulnerable to
global petroleum markets that continue to disrupt the economy
and threaten national security, while significantly reducing
tailpipe pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
"This is important not just for jobs but for diversifying our
energy supplies, improving our energy security and reducing
costly emissions," Steckel said.
The $1/gal biodiesel tax incentive was first implemented in
2005. Congress has allowed it to lapse twice, in 2010 and again
in 2012. Under the legislation approved by the House on Tuesday
and first passed by the Senate on Monday, the incentive will be
reinstated retroactively to Jan. 1, 2012 and through the end of