Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced bipartisan legislation in both the Senate (S. 1806) and the House (H.R. 3472) to extend the biodiesel tax credit through 2025.
Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle support the legislation. The Senate bill was introduced with nine additional co-sponsors, including Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. Representatives Angie Craig, Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn are co-sponsors on the House bill.
“We thank our senators and representatives for their support of biodiesel,” Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “Extending the biodiesel tax credit will help Minnesota farmers and biofuels advocates in on our goal to continuing to clean Minnesota’s air. ”
The tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2022 after being revived in December 2019, supports a homegrown clean energy sector that employs thousands of Americans while lowering emissions.
“Backing clean biodiesel means supporting and expanding an American industry that fuels our society while reducing carbon emissions. As Congress is engaged in discussions about how to invest in clean energy infrastructure while growing our economy, continued support for biodiesel will keep us on a pathway that has kept millions of tons of carbon out of our air and put over 65,000 Americans to work,” said Rep. Cindy Axne, who joined Rep. Mike Kelly in leading the legislation on the House side. “Since coming to Congress two years ago, support for Iowa’s producers and farmers through measures like the biodiesel tax credit has been a top priority for me – and I am ready to work with my colleagues across Congress to once again see this key support signed into law.”
The National Biodiesel Board applauded the news.
“The biodiesel tax credit continues to be extremely successful in expanding consumer access to cleaner fuels,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB vice president of federal affairs. “Biodiesel and renewable diesel cut carbon emissions by an average of 74% compared to petroleum diesel and they support job creation and economic opportunity for rural communities across the country. NBB’s members sincerely appreciate Senators Grassley and Cantwell and Representatives Axne and Kelly, along with the 24 original cosponsors.”
The biodiesel industry has grown rapidly with the help of the biodiesel tax credit in the past. From 2013 to 2016, when the tax credit was in place for the entire three-year period, U.S. production grew by 400 million gallons. And in 2020, despite COVID-19-related market shocks, production still grew more than 150 million gallons with the help of the newly revived credit.
From 2015 to 2018, it is estimated that use of biodiesel and other renewable diesels helped reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 9.3 million tons. Biodiesel production also provides secondary market uses for used cooking oils and recycled animal fats, which would otherwise be added to landfills.
“The biodiesel tax credit continues to be extremely successful in expanding consumer access to clean, low-carbon fuels,” Kovarik said. “Biodiesel and renewable diesel are on average 74% less carbon intensive than petroleum diesel and have cut more than 140 million tons of carbon emissions since 2010. Moreover, these cleaner, better fuels substantially cut emissions of particulate matter that impact cancer rates, asthma and other respiratory diseases, as well as the associated healthcare costs.”
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association encourages its members to visit NBB’s Fueling Action Center and send a note to the Minnesota congressional delegation thanking them for their support. You can also encourage your senators and representatives to co-sponsor the legislation.