Getting the Biodiesel Tax Credit Back Online Is ASA's Top Priority

ASA estimates the biodiesel industry is worth about 25 cents per bushel.

Published on: Mar 4, 2010

To say Rob Joslin is disappointed at the lapse in the Biodiesel Tax Credit is an understatement.

"I feel like a bride left at the altar on this," explains Joslin, American Soybean Association president.

U.S. soybean producers are feeling his pain. During today's press conference at the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., ASA noted that the soy biodiesel industry is worth about $825 million of a $3.3 billion soybean industry. To put it in very real terms, Joslin says it's costing him about $600,000 on his 500 acres of soybeans in Sidney, Ohio.

The biodiesel industry is suffering to the tune of approximately 23,000 workers. Until a bill makes it through Congress, Joslin expects most of the large soy biodiesel plants will remain idled.

ASA president Rob Joslin fields a question, as 1st vice president Alan Kemper (far left) and chairman Johnny Dodson look on.
ASA president Rob Joslin fields a question, as 1st vice president Alan Kemper (far left) and chairman Johnny Dodson look on.

Joslin says other legislative priorities, such as health care, are holding things up. "The longer this goes on, it will be harder to get it reinstated," he adds. Hesitant to give a timetable, Joslin says the tax credit may have to wait until it can get attached to a more universal jobs bill.

Some Good News

Despite the gloom and doom surrounding the tax credit, ASA leadership was happy to report a $12 million grant from USDA to further build the export market for U.S. soybeans.

Joslin notes this is the largest grant of this type to any one organization. "It's another statement of confidence in the U.S. soybean industry," he adds.

In addition, ASA also received a $26 million grant for studies relating to new soybean product uses.

In other news, Joslin says ASA is continuing to monitor talks of climate change legislation. "Climate change legislation is not dead in the water," he adds. According to ASA, a climate change bill would negatively impact the livestock and soybean processing industries.