DC fly-in set to rally for biodiesel tax credit

On Nov. 29, dozens of biodiesel stakeholders from across the country will flock to Capitol Hill to push for passage of the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit, which lapsed nearly a year ago
By Ron Kotrba | November 21, 2012

The National Biodiesel Board is organizing a fly-in open to all biodiesel stakeholders Nov. 29 to converge on the nation’s capital and push lawmakers to pass an extenders package that includes the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit.

“We are encouraging all biodiesel stakeholders to attend the fly-in to ensure that our industry makes its voice heard as Congress wraps up its unfinished business in the lame duck session,” says Ben Evans, director of federal communications for the National Biodiesel Board. “We believe there is a good possibility that Congress will pass a tax extenders package, and we believe the biodiesel incentive is in a good position to be included if they do. But again, lawmakers listen mostly to their constituents, and we need producers, marketers, feedstock suppliers and really everyone to weigh in so that members of Congress know this is something that impacts their constituents and their local economy.”  

So far, a couple of dozen people have signed up to come, says Evans, including stakeholders from California, Iowa, North Carolina, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Minnesota. “We expect to have maybe a dozen more,” Evans tells me. “We will have a morning breakfast to review the issues and then everyone will head to Capitol Hill for meetings with their members of Congress.” For those who are interested in joining their biodiesel peers for the Nov. 29 fly-in to Washington, D.C., contact Ben Evans at bevans@biodiesel.org. Those who plan on attending must schedule their own meetings with their representatives and senators, but Evans and other NBB personnel are available to offer guidance and help find staff contacts for their legislators.

You’ll recall that in August, a senate tax extenders package, which included the biodiesel tax credit, passed the senate finance committee markup. That same tax package should serve as the base package for Senate debate moving forward, Evans says. It includes a biodiesel extension retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year through the end of 2013.

“There hasn’t been any tangible progress in terms of legislative movement since then,” Evans says. “But that was expected with the elections overtaking the past few months.”  Behind-the-scenes talks are continuing though, according to Evans, who says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently listed tax extenders on a priority list for the lame duck session. “So again, anything could happen,” Evans says. “Congress has a lot on its plate, but we believe enough members of Congress understand the importance of these tax incentives to the economy and that there is a good probability they can come together and pass a tax extenders package. This is a jobs issue, and nearly everyone seems to agree that jobs should be the No. 1 priority right now.”

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