Biodiesel Incentives Arrive in the Keystone State

New law should boost biodiesel production in Pennsylvania.

Published on: Jul 11, 2008

State legislation can sometimes slide through the law-making process quicker than a hog on vegetable oil – once it gets going. That's the case with a Pennsylvania biodiesel bill we told you about early this week.

Legislation providing a 75-cents-per-gallon production incentive for in-state producers of biodiesel (up to $5.3 million per year) has already been signed by Governor Ed Rendell. The incentives will be available for three years and will be capped at $1.9 million annually for individual biofuels producers.

"The incentive will help kick-start Pennsylvania's struggling biodiesel industry," says Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer. Biodiesel producers in the commonwealth have had difficulty competing with subsidized biodiesel producers from other states, he adds. That disincentive has now been overcome.

The legislation was strongly supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. It provides short-term incentives for Pennsylvania's biodiesel industry. And it benefits farmers by giving them a stronger market for soybeans and other possible oilseed crops, and may help offset rising farm energy costs.

Details of the incentive program are still being formed. But it may also open the incentive door for farmers or groups of them to produce biodiesel for their own use. Watch for more on biofuel crops in August's American Agriculturist issue.