Congressman Jim Hagedorn, who represents one of the largest agriculture districts in the country, joined three Minnesota congressional colleagues on Friday by signing onto the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension of 2019.
“We are grateful to Congressman Hagedorn for his support of farmers and the biodiesel industry in his district and throughout the state” says Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) President Michael Petefish, who farms in Hagedorn’s First Congressional District in southern Minnesota. “Agriculture is the economic and cultural backbone of the First District, and we’re heartened to know we can count on the congressman to support this critical piece of legislation.”
Since a two percent biodiesel blend (B2) became law in 2002, Minnesota has been the national leader in biodiesel. As the only advanced biofuel recognized by the U.S. EPA, biodiesel contributes nearly $1.7 billion to Minnesota’s economy and adds 5,400 jobs to the state, increasing demand for soybeans by 13 percent. It’s also an environmental winner, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by removing the equivalent of 230,000 cars from Minnesota’s roads each year. With the move to a 20 percent biodiesel blend (B20) last summer, Minnesota remains at the forefront of renewable fuel use in the U.S.
The House legislative language mirrors the biodiesel tax incentive provision in Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate legislation (S.617) would provide a two-year extension of expired temporary tax incentives, including the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive.
The U.S. biodiesel market has grown from about 100 million gallons in 2005, when the tax incentive was first implemented, to more than 2.6 billion gallons annually since 2016. The biodiesel tax incentive helps producers across the country continue to invest in capacity for future growth.
“One of my top priorities in Congress is to sustain agriculture and our rural southern Minnesota way of life,” Hagedorn said. “As a member of the House Agriculture Committee I will continue to fight on the behalf of farmers to strengthen markets through year-round sales of E15, restrictions on the abuses of small refinery waivers and expanded trade opportunities, especially the United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, which I strongly support. These initiatives, combined with reductions in unnecessary government regulations and successful implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, will help bring security and growth to southern Minnesota’s agricultural economy.”
The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports more than 60,000 jobs, paying more than $2.5 billion in annual wages and generating more than $11 billion in economic impact. Every 100 million gallons of biodiesel production supports 3,200 jobs. The two biodiesel plants in Rep. Hagedorn’s district produce more than 80 million gallons of biodiesel each year.
Rep. Angie Craig, Rep. Collin Peterson and Rep. Tom Emmer have also signed on in support of the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension. MSGA is urging Minnesota’s remaining House delegation – Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Dean Phillips and Rep. Pete Stauber – to sign onto the extension.
“Biodiesel benefits both urban and rural Minnesotans, both economically and environmentally,” MSGA Vice President Jamie Beyer says. “MSGA is calling on both parties to support an extension. Supporting renewable fuels has broad bipartisan support throughout the nation, and it’s now more important than ever that we get this extension passed.”