Congress has gone home without acting on a tax extenders package or the biodiesel tax credit before both expire on Dec. 31. The American Soybean Association says this is a disappointing end to an otherwise very positive year for the biodiesel industry. The industry set a record for production in 2011, with more than 800 million gallons produced through October. It is possible that the year-end volumes could approach one billion gallons.
A draft package of tax extenders, recently circulated by Senate leaders, includes the biodiesel incentive. Leaders in both parties have indicated a desire to consider a tax extenders package early in 2012. For this reason, the ASA will continue to urge Congress to come together on a bi-partisan basis to extend the biodiesel tax credit early next year.
ASA says, along with the National Biodiesel Board and their biodiesel industry partners, they will continue to stress the positive economic impact the biodiesel tax incentive delivers across the country, and continue to urge policymakers to end the cycle of uncertainty by enacting a longer-term biodiesel tax credit as soon as possible.
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board also expressed disappointment that Congress did not act to extend the tax incentives that are slated to expire on Dec. 31. According to Steckel, jobs and the economy are supposed to be the top priority in Washington, yet Congress has left thousands of workers in limbo heading into the holidays by failing to extend this tax incentive. She calls it a missed opportunity, and says NBB is urging Congress to pass an extension immediately next year to limit the economic damage.
The biodiesel industry has seen a remarkable turnaround this year after Congress reinstated its $1-per-gallon tax incentive following a one-year lapse in 2010. When the credit lapsed, dozens of plants shut down, thousands of jobs were lost and 2010 production plummeted to about 315 million gallons, the lowest level since 2006.