With Earth Day here, I thought it slightly ironic that the biodiesel tax credit still has not been passed, yet a large gathering in the National Mall in Washing DC is underway. Earth Day is about climate change. Biodiesel certainly has it’s place there since it burns much cleaner than petroleum diesel, but biodiesel is much more than that too. It’s domestic, produced here in the USA. It’s non-toxic and very safe to use and transport. It’s biodegradable. It’s a drop in replacement for existing fuel, no huge infrastructure changes required, and (by some accounts) if it were as heavily subsidized as petroleum, would be damn near free. Congress is claiming that the tax credit will be passed by the Memorial Day recess. Here’s hoping…
From the NBB:
Jefferson City, Mo. – With the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day upon us, it is imperative that Congress move immediately to ensure the survival of America’s first advanced biofuel – biodiesel.
“Lawmakers need look no further than the National Mall to see cleaner-burning biodiesel at work powering generators this Earth Day,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe. “Not only does biodiesel have the best greenhouse gas reduction of any domestic transportation fuel, but also it is the only advanced biofuel currently in the U.S. commercial marketplace.”
In recognition of Earth Day, the National Biodiesel Board is urging Members of Congress to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive immediately. Since the credit lapsed on December 31, 2009, domestic biodiesel production has plummeted to nearly a standstill. One of the most successful energy policy initiatives ever enacted, the program makes biodiesel price competitive with petroleum diesel.
The biodiesel tax credit allows the U.S. to reap the significant environmental benefits associated with the sustainable fuel, including:
Biodiversity: Biodiesel is the most diverse fuel on the planet, made from a wide variety of oil and fat by-products of regional crop and livestock production.
Regional diversity: More than 150 biodiesel plants support green jobs and green investment in nearly all 50 states, producing fuel from regionally available resources.
Carbon reduction: Last year, biodiesel’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas was the equivalent of removing over 774,000 passenger vehicles from America’s roadways.
Energy balance: Biodiesel produces 4.5 units of energy for every 1 unit it takes to make the fuel, boasting the highest energy balance, and the highest energy content of any American-made renewable fuel.
Both the House and Senate have passed bills to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax credit. However, the two chambers must still reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill before it can be sent to the President.