As the end of the year approaches and acrimony among Congress increases, it is unlikely that Congress will address a tax extenders package or the biodiesel tax credit before both expire on Dec. 31. Congress appears to be at an impasse over legislation to extend the payroll tax break, and no action is likely on extensions of other tax incentives.
This is a disappointing end to an otherwise very positive year for the biodiesel industry. The industry set a record for production in 2011, with more than 800 million gallons produced through October. It is possible that the year-end volumes could approach 1 billion gallons.
There is still the possibility that Congress, as it has done in the past, could enact a retroactive tax extenders package next year. The biodiesel tax credit lapsed in 2010, resulting in a significant drop in production, job losses and some plant closings. Eventually, it was extended retroactively for 2010 and through 2011.
Leaders in both parties have indicated a desire to consider a tax extenders package early in 2012. Another positive sign is that a draft package of tax extenders, recently circulated by Senate leaders, includes the biodiesel incentive. For this reason, the American Soybean Association (ASA) will continue to urge Congress to come together on a bi-partisan basis to extend the biodiesel tax credit early next year.
ASA, along with the National Biodiesel Board and our biodiesel industry partners, will continue to stress the positive economic impact the biodiesel tax incentive delivers across the country, and continue to urge policymakers to end the cycle of uncertainty by enacting a longer-term biodiesel tax credit as soon as possible.