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. Axne. “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.”
“Biodiesel is an important part of the energy sector, and an industry that is creating well-paying jobs in many rural communities throughout America including Erie, Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Kelly. “It’s critical that we extend the biodiesel tax credit to further encourage economic growth, enhance U.S. energy security, and foster innovation that is good for our environment. I am a proud sponsor of this bill. Let’s offer the same tax incentives to the biodiesel industry that we offer to other energy producers!”
Companion legislation to extend the biodiesel tax credit was introduced today in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
The legislation is endorsed by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO). Rep. Axne and Rep. Kelly were joined by 24 bipartisan original cosponsors: Reps. Bacon (NE-02), Bost (IL-12), Bustos (IL-17), Cicilline (RI-01), Courtney (CT-02), Craig (MN-02), DeLauro (CT-03), Feenstra (IA-04), Fischbach (MN-07), Guest (MS-03), Hagedorn (MN-01), Hern (OK-01), Hinson (IA-03), Himes (CT-04), Johnson (SD-AL), Kinzinger (IL-16), LaHood (IL-18), Larson (CT-01), Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Marie Newman (IL-03), Pence (IN-06), Sewell (AL-07), Wagner (MO-02), and Walorski (IN-02).
“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.
Within her first weeks in Congress, Rep. Axne was advocating for a revival of the biodiesel tax credit after its expiration in 2016.