When it comes to promoting their own product, farmers are the best resource. That’s why the Minnesota Soybean Growers Assocation and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) are calling for action on the expired biodiesel tax incentive from soybean farmers and biodiesel enthusiasts.
Congress has returned to Washington after weeks of pre-election recess and has just a few weeks of scheduled legislative activity before year’s end. Among the unfinished business to be considered in the coming days and weeks is a package of expired tax incentives including the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit.
“In Minnesota, biodiesel stands on its own,” MSGA Director Dan Brandt said. “A tax incentive, however, helps promote the use of biodiesel, which helps improve air quality while benefiting the producer financially.”
It remains unclear how Congress will proceed on the tax legislation, known as “tax extenders.” Biodiesel supporters, however, view this as their best chance to see the incentive reinstated. The NBB is planning a tax incentive day of advocacy in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 4.
NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said in a release that “we are in a good position to be included in legislation thanks to a bipartisan vote in April in which the Senate Finance Committee included biodiesel in a tax extenders bill containing about 50 incentives to be reinstated.”
Brandt said it’s important to reach out to our U.S. senators and U.S. representatives and show them support for the biodiesel tax incentive.
“Nothing encourages the growth of a product like saving expenses,” Brandt said. “Biodiesel adds 73 cents value to every bushel of soybeans sold, and farmers need to support and promote their own product.”
To find your members of Congress and their contact information, visit the Senate website and the House website. Unless you have a contact already, ask to speak to the legislative assistant who handles energy or tax issues. Talk to them about your business and the impact it is having at home, and explain the importance of the biodiesel tax incentive to the future of your business and your employees. Ask them to help by pushing to reinstate the incentive as quickly as possible during the lame duck congressional session. Feel free to download a Biodiesel Tax Incentive-Letter to get you started, and feel free to edit the letter to include your personal story. The more personal, the better.
- The U.S. biodiesel market has grown from about 100 million gallons in 2005 to almost 1.8 billion gallons in 2013, however biodiesel remains a small fraction of the 60 billion gallon U.S. diesel pool, with strong capacity for growth.
- With nearly 200 biodiesel plants nationwide, the biodiesel industry is supporting some 62,200 jobs along with $2.6 billion in wages and $17 billion in total economic activity.
- In Minnesota, biodiesel provides employment opportunities for 5,668 jobs and creates an annual economic output impact of $928 million.
- Biodiesel increases demand for Minnesota’s soybean crop by 13 percent annually.