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IFB urges Senate to get biodiesel tax credit passed ASAP

January 10, 2010

One of the biggest pieces of unfinished business with one of the biggest impacts on agriculture was the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass an extension of the biodiesel production tax credit which expired at the end of 2009.

The $1 per gallon credit is what makes biodiesel competitive.   And the Senate must get it done as soon as possible.  

The House passed a tax extenders bill prior to its adjournment.

IFB called attention to the need to pass an extension in the days leading up to the Senate’s adjornment.   Sen. Durbin’s office sympathized with the need but indicated that rules of the Senate made it diffcult to interrupt the on-going health care debate to consider other legislative items, such as the biodiesel tax credit, and that the decision had been made to pass the tax credit retroactively as soon as possible in 2010.

Sen. Durbin supports an extension, and at the request of IFB leaders in September, agreed to cosponsor a bill that would reform the credit and extend it for five years.   Congressman John Shimkus is a cosponsor of a companion bill in the House.

The Senate goes back into session until Jan. 19.  

Biodiesel talking points from the National Biodiesel Board:

  • Biodiesel reduces our Dependence on Foreign Oil:  The 690 million gallons of biodiesel produced in the U.S. in 2008 displaced 38.1 million barrels of petroleum, and increased production and use of biodiesel will further displace foreign oil.  In addition, biodiesel is an extremely efficient fuel that creates 5.2 units of energy for every unit of energy that is required to produce the fuel.


  • The Biodiesel Industry is Creating Green Jobs and Making a Positive Contribution to the Economy:  Last year alone, the U.S. biodiesel industry supported 51,893 jobs in all sectors of the economy.  This added $4.287 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generated $866.2 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments.


  • Biodiesel is Good for the Environment:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Department of Energy (DoE) lifecycle study shows that biodiesel yields a 78 percent reduction in direct lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions compared to petroleum diesel fuel.  In 2008 alone, biodiesel’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions was equal to removing 980,000 passenger vehicles from America’s roadways.
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