U.S. Biodiesel Producers Worried About Termination of Tax Credits

Senate leaders said chamber to vote on the bill in January at the earliest

U.S. biodiesel producers are contemplating their next steps after Congress, before adjourning in December, declined to vote on extending the renewable fuel tax credit the industry considered crucial for its business.

Senate leaders said the chamber would not vote on the bill until January at the earliest, meaning that the $1 per gallon blending credit expired Dec. 31. That leaves many producers having to sell their product for un-subsidized prices, which they say will slash sales volumes even lower than they are now and could lead to layoffs.

This was the first year Congress did not extend the one-year credit since it was introduced in 2004. That has left the industry in a state of confusion, said Kevin McGeeney, CEO of the Chicago-based biodiesel brokerage firm SCB & Associates.

"This wasn't baked in," McGeeney said of Congress' inaction. "With the brinksmanship we saw last year, most of the industry expected the legislation to go through at the last minute. This is going to be damaging for volumes and damaging for us."

Two bills currently in Congress –– S 1589 and HR 4070 –– would extend the credit for five years.

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