Stakeholders urge Congress to extend biofuel tax policies

By Anna Simet | December 09, 2013

Tax provisions critical to the biofuel and biopower industries are set to expire at the end of the month—including the federal renewable energy production tax credit and cellulosic biofuel producer , biodiesel and renewable diesel credit tax credits—and industry stakeholders are urging Congress for extensions.

The Advanced Ethanol Council, Advanced Biofuel Association, Algae Biomass Organization and Biotechnology Industry Organization delivered a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich, and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on behalf of 63 biofuel industry member companies.

The Advanced Biofuel Association provided the following excerpts of the letter:

“The advanced biofuels industry is at a critical stage of development. The industry has made great strides in reducing the cost of production and developing first-of-kind technologies and biorefining operations to deploy the most innovative fuel in the world. In a difficult financial market, we are now operating commercial plants all across the country and continue to make progress on dozens of additional projects in the final stages of development. As was the case with the conventional biofuels industry, these groundbreaking production processes can be replicated rather quickly once the technology is proven at commercial scale,” the organizations and companies wrote.

 “Accelerated depreciation allowances, technology specific deductions and production-related tax credits are currently offered to incumbent fossil energy industries on a permanent basis. As such, similar tax provisions made available to the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry level the playing field with fossil fuels and are critical to our efforts to compete for project capital given that these types of incentives are available to our primary competitors.”

The groups are further urging Congress to extend current tax provisions for multiple years, to ensure stability in the marketplace.

Last year’s last-minute Fiscal Cliff bill, passed on Dec. 31, extended several federal biofuel-related tax incentives and programs through 2013, including the cellulosic biofuel producer credit, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit, biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit, Biorefinery Assistance program, Repowering Assistance program, Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, Rural Energy for America Program and Biomass Crop Assistance Program.