A GROUP of biofuel trade organizations sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) urging Congress to extend critical advanced biofuel tax incentives.
These incentives include the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, the Biodiesel & Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit and the Alternative Fuel & Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider legislation the week of March 31 on the dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired at the end of last year. The House Ways & Means Committee will hold hearings and markups in April to evaluate the fate of the expired tax breaks.
The groups signing the letter include the Advanced Ethanol Council, Advanced Biofuels Assn., Algae Biomass Organization, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board and Renewable Fuels Assn.
"In the interests of energy security, job creation, global competitiveness and forward-looking policy, we urge you to move quickly to extend expired advanced biofuel tax provisions for multiple years, retroactive to Jan. 1," they wrote.
"The advanced biofuels industry is at a critical stage of development. Despite a difficult financial market, we are now operating commercial plants across the country and continue to make progress on dozens of additional projects in the final stages of development. Advanced biofuel tax credits have allowed the biofuels industry to make great strides in reducing the cost of production and developing first-of-their-kind technologies to deploy the most innovative fuel in the world," the letter says.
While acknowledging the nation's budget constraints, the groups noted that America's "global competitors are offering tax incentives for advanced biofuels and, in fact, are attracting construction of new facilities — and associated high-skilled jobs. If Congress wants American companies to continue developing these homegrown technologies in the United States, it must extend these credits."
They pointed out that biofuel producers also must compete with the fossil fuel industries, which "continue to enjoy tax incentives on a permanent basis."