American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman says now is a critical time for two of ASA's biodiesel policy priorities. Wellman says ASA is asking soybean growers and supporters to contact their Congressmen for two reasons.
"First to urge their support for the retroactive reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit," Wellman said. "And secondly to ask them to contact Administration officials in support of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed increase of volume requirements for biomass based diesel under the Renewable Fuels Standard for 2013."
The biodiesel tax credit expired on Dec. 31. Wellman says ASA is urging enactment of a tax extenders package including the biodiesel tax credit as soon as possible as part of the payroll tax relief package currently being negotiated.
"In December Congress passed a short-term extension of the payroll tax reduction that expires on Feb. 29," Wellman said. "A formal House-Senate conference committee has been convened to negotiate a longer term extension. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and other members have called for the conference committee to add expired tax provisions including the biodiesel tax credit to the package."
Wellman says the Administration is expected to make a decision on the Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirement for biomass-based diesel for 2013 soon
"EPA initially proposed in June 2011 to raise the requirement from one billion gallons in 2012 to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013," Wellman said. "But in December EPA and the Office of Management and Budget postponed making a final decision and said they would make a decision in the near future. Growth of the program beyond one billion gallons in 2013 is an important market opportunity for soy biodiesel."
Biodiesel is the only advanced biofuel produced on a commercial scale in the U.S. today Wellman says and it creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and bolsters energy security.
"The biodiesel program is a section of the Renewable Fuels Standard that is working precisely as intended," Wellman said. "The record production of 2011 supported over 50,000 jobs across the country while displacing imported diesel with a clean, American made fuel. It has also served as an important use of soybean oil for U.S. soybeans."