House passes spending bills, tax extenders legislation

By Erin Voegele | December 17, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 17 voted to pass two legislative packages that comprise all 12 fiscal year 2020 funding bills. The packages also include tax extenders legislation that extends a wide range of tax credits, including those for biofuels and bioenergy.  

Documents published to the House website indicate that the tax extenders legislation includes provisions extending the biodiesel and renewable diesel producer tax credit, the second generation biofuel producer credit, the alternative fuel refueling property credit, the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property, and the Section 45 and Section 48 tax credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources.

The legislation aims to retroactively extend the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit through the end of 2022. The second generation biofuel producer credit, special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property are retroactively extended through Jan. 1, 2021. The Section 45 and Section 48 tax credits for electricity produced form certain renewable resources are also extended through Jan. 1, 2021. The alternative fuel refueling property credit is retroactively extended through Dec. 31, 2020.

The legislation will now be sent to the U.S. Senate, which must take action on the legislative packages by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. President Trump is expected to sign the bills.

The National Biodiesel Board has issued a statement in support of the tax extenders legislation and thanking congressional champions for introducing a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive.

“Today’s announced deal provides the policy certainty that the biodiesel industry has been seeking to support investments and continued growth of production,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at the NBB. “NBB and its members are grateful that Congressional leaders are providing a positive signal before the year’s end.

"On behalf of NBB members, I’d like to thank Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Abby Finkenauer as well as many other senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle for their strong and consistent championship of our industry,” Kovarik continued. “I’d also like to thank the producers, soybean farmers, heating oil distributors, blenders, and others who have worked tirelessly to advocate for extension of the biodiesel tax credit. We will continue to work with our champions to get this legislation across the finish line before the end of the year."

The Renewable Fuels Association is also speaking out to thank congressional leaders for renewing and extending important renewable fuel tax provisions.

“This is welcome news for the entire renewable fuels industry, and we thank Senator Grassley and the other leaders who made this important compromise possible,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “While we continue to advocate for prospective, longer-term certainty for the second-generation biofuel producer credit and other relevant tax provisions, we are grateful this deal was reached to retroactively reinstate the lapsed second-generation biofuel provisions and extend them through 2020. We also appreciate the renewal and extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel credit, as more than 2 billion pounds of corn distillers oil from ethanol plants are converted annually into the lowest-carbon source of biodiesel and renewable diesel available on the market today.

“The ethanol industry continues to support smart tax policy that enables long-term growth and investment in low-carbon renewable fuels, and today’s deal helps level the playing field against a fossil fuels industry that has reaped billions upon billions in tax incentives, subsidies, and write-offs,” Cooper continued. “We urge Congress and President Trump to move swiftly to pass and enact these important provisions that have languished for years.”