The biodiesel tax incentive is helping to create jobs across the country, according to testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee today by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
“While we understand the pressures facing Congress, this is the wrong time to pull support from a growing American industry that is a rare bright spot in this economy,” said Anne Steckel, NBB vice president of federal affairs. “Our industry is having a record year of production, and the tax incentive is a key ingredient in that success. Stripping the incentive away this year would put thousands of jobs in jeopardy.”
Steckel’s written testimony was submitted to the committee for a hearing on energy tax policy and tax reform held today that focused on whether energy policy should be conducted through the tax code, and specifically on proposed tax credits for natural gas under the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act of 2011.
While, the biodiesel industry was not called to testify at the hearing, Steckel’s submitted comments highlighted the biodiesel industry’s rebound this year after the biodiesel tax incentive was reinstated following a one-year lapse in 2010 which caused production to drop dramatically last year as dozens of plants shut down and thousands of people lost jobs.
Since its reinstatement this year, the industry had produced roughly 475 million gallons as of July compared with 315 million gallons in all of 2010. This year’s increased production of at least 800 million gallons will support more than 31,000 jobs while generating at least $3 billion in GDP and $628 million in federal, state and local tax revenues, according to a recent economic study conducted by Cardno-Entrix.
“We believe the U.S. biodiesel industry offers a clear and compelling case that strong domestic energy policy can boost this economy,” she said. “Our production turnaround this year is creating good-paying jobs in nearly every state in the country.”
That claim was highlighted with the re-opening of a southern Minnesota biodiesel plant this week. Minnesota soybean farmer Jim Willers said reinstating the biodiesel tax incentive is one of the best jobs creation programs the government has done lately. “This plant’s put almost 25-30 people back to work, there’s usually 50 trucks that go through here and the spin off effect from this plant creates almost 2,000 jobs,” he said. “Between state and local and federal taxes, it’s way more than the tax credit so your return on investment for the government is just terrific with biodiesel.”