Biodiesel tax incentive still stalled

The American Soybean Association (ASA) expressed extreme disappointment and frustration with the United States Senate for its inability to extend the Biodiesel Tax Incentive that expired on December 31, 2009.

The Senate voted 41-58 against a motion to suspend the rules and accept an amendment offered by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) to enact a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the U.S. Senate would consider a motion to suspend the rules on the amendment to the Small Business Bill filed by Senator Grassley to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2010.

“Biodiesel has provided a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers, as well as jobs and economic development for rural communities,” said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. “ASA appreciates the efforts of Senator Grassley to include the long overdue extension of the biodiesel tax credit in this Bill.”

This motion to suspend the rules required 67 votes to pass and was necessary because the amendment tree had been filled by the Majority Leader and cloture was already invoked on the underlying bill. Procedural issues and larger partisan political issues unrelated to the biodiesel tax credit have prevented favorable Senate action on the tax credit. ASA believes that extension of the biodiesel tax credit is supported by a majority of senators who recognize its importance in generating jobs, renewable fuel, a cleaner environment, and positive benefits for farmers and their communities. 

“ASA is severely disappointed in the failure of the Senate to extend the biodiesel tax credit,” Joslin said. “At a time when jobs and renewable energy production are cited as top priorities, it is unacceptable that Congress would fail to extend the biodiesel tax credit. The biodiesel tax credit has a direct impact on jobs and it is a homegrown renewable energy source — the first and only advanced biofuel commercially produced in the United States.”

Biodiesel is one of the cleanest burning biofuels currently used in commercial markets. Biodiesel is a renewable and sustainable energy source that can play a significant role in our national efforts to increase our energy security and improve our environmental footprint. The biodiesel industry creates valuable green jobs and makes a positive contribution to the economy.

ASA will continue to press its case in the weeks remaining before Congress adjourns to campaign for the upcoming elections.

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