The National Biodiesel Board expressed disappointment on March 13 after the Senate voted down two amendments that would have extended the biodiesel tax incentive through the end of the year.
"This is another missed opportunity for Congress to do something to boost the economy. We're talking about thousands of jobs across the country that are affected by this, and the very real possibility that biodiesel plants will go out of business," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. "It's also a missed opportunity for Congress to do something about these oil price spikes by diversifying our fuel supplies and reducing our exposure to the global petroleum markets."
"We thank Sen. Stabenow and Sen. Roberts for including biodiesel in their amendments, and we urge Congress to break this partisan gridlock and find a way to enact policies like the biodiesel tax credit that have strong bipartisan support."
Congress allowed the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive to expire on Dec. 31, despite the fact that the incentive helped the biodiesel industry achieve record production last year of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, supporting more than 39,000 jobs.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines. It is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and last year supported more than 39,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in GDP, according to a recent study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm. NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association and coordinating body for biodiesel research and development.