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Biodiesel, Agriculture Groups Press for Extension of Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Biodiesel and agriculture interests are pressing Congressional leaders to pass an extension of the biodiesel blenders tax credit. (Photo courtesy of the National Biodiesel Board)

A group of 140 biodiesel and agriculture industry groups and producers are making a big push for an extension of the blenders tax credit, asking Congressional leadership in a letter on Thursday to approve an extension.

The $1 credit expired on Dec. 31, 2017, and the industry has fallen on hard times in the past two years. At least nine biodiesel plants have closed their doors or cut production, without the credit in place and with the EPA's approval of 85 small-refinery exemptions since 2016.

The groups press Congressional leaders to take serious the need for the credit writing "an immediate extension of the biodiesel tax incentive is needed to prevent a severe economic disruption" of the industry.

"The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry's continued success is at stake," the letter said. "Tens of thousands of American workers and manufacturers -- as well as the millions of Americans who benefit from cleaner air and water -- are depending on you to provide our industry the certainty we need to continue our growth.

"Since the start of the year, 10 biodiesel plants have closed or cut back production, furloughing several hundred workers, the states impacted include Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas. The economic fallout spreads across the U.S. economy, impacting more than 7,500 total jobs. Immediate extension of the tax credit is needed to prevent more plant closures, more production cutbacks and more job losses."

Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, said in a press release the "continued uncertainty about the tax incentive impacts businesses, workers and industry partners across the economy and in every state. The number of companies and trade groups that joined us on the letter demonstrates the broad impact. Biodiesel producers simply can't plan and invest for the future -- they're making the very difficult choice to shut down. Our industry needs Congress to act before the end of the year to stop more shutdowns and job losses."

Read the letter here:…

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