US Senate group OKs biodiesel tax credit extension

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) trade group applauded the US Senate Finance Committee on Thursday for passing a bipartisan tax package that includes an extension of the now-expired biodiesel tax incentive.

The committee's approval is an initial step for the bill, which now will be considered by the broader Senate and House of Representatives.

“This is a refreshing display of bipartisan cooperation to get this economy moving again, and we applaud Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch for their leadership,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the NBB.

“The biodiesel tax incentive is a proven job creator. Growth in our industry has been stagnant since the incentive expired on Dec. 31. Reinstating it will get biodiesel producers across the country back to expanding their businesses and hiring new employees, as they were doing last year with the tax incentive in place.”

“We call on the full Senate to quickly pass this package, and for the House to follow suit so that biodiesel producers can get the certainty they need to begin hiring again.”

The biodiesel tax incentive was first implemented in 2005 and also expired in 2010. After it was reinstated in 2011, the biodiesel industry grew rapidly, the NBB said, setting a new production record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons and supporting more than 39,000 jobs.

Made from a mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated advanced biofuel that's produced on a commercial scale across the US.

It is produced in nearly every state in the US and can be used in existing diesel engines without modification, according to the NBB.

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