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CEO DATELINE – Agriculture associations urge renewal of biodiesel tax credit

May 24, 2019
By Walt Williams

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Thirteen associations representing farmers and other agriculture interests are asking Congress to renew a tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel.

At issue is a federal provision that allowed biodiesel blenders to claim a tax credit of $1 per gallon of pure biodiesel or renewable diesel that was blended with regular diesel. The provision expired in 2017, and agriculture and biodiesel industry groups have been urging lawmakers to renew the credit ever since.

In a May 22 letter to House and Senate leaders, the groups claim that farmers and rural communities are facing “a mounting economic threat” that could be alleviated by renewing the tax credit.

“Income for America’s farmers is falling, and the impact is beginning to be felt in other sectors of the rural economy,” Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, said in a statement accompanying the letter. “Biodiesel production adds value to oil seed crops and recycled oils, providing one bright spot for the agriculture sector. Congress can take rapid action to renew the biodiesel tax incentive—a policy that enjoys broad bipartisan support—to help U.S. biodiesel producers continue growing.”

In addition to NBB, the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, CoBank, Corn Refiners Association, Farm Credit Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Renderers Association, National Sorghum Producers and U.S. Canola Association signed the letter.