Biodiesel manufacturers will have to make serious cut backs in 2010. A $1/Gallon tax credit for manufacturers of biodiesel expired January 1. The House of Representatives voted to extend the tax credit, but the US Senate was not able to come to consensus on extending the tax breaks for American business. There are approximately 180 biodiesel producers in the US that could benefit from extending the tax breaks. In addition the European Union has implemented a high tariff on imported biodiesel which has hurt US exports. The largest refinery in Houston sits idle and many producers will likely shut down as a result of the higher costs.
Unfortunately it was the Democrats that indirectly torpedoed the extension. According to Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Democrats tried to bring back the estate tax along with the tax credit for biodiesel producers. They also decided to put it into a defense bill for some strange reason. Something as divisive as the death tax was sure to not win support from the Republicans. By taking this approach the Democrats have shown that they are not committed to green energy reform. Since this would be a tax break for small business any Republican would be behind the bill if that were the only topic. Democrats can show their commitment to renewable energy by creating a bill that brings back a minimum of $1/Gallon tax credit for biodiesel manufacturers. This bill should carry out no other actions than the tax cut.
Republicans want to see lower taxes and less dependence on foreign oil. Democrats want to protect the environment and bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Passing the tax cut will benefit Democrats and Republicans. It’s time to drop the red state/blue state partisan bickering and get to a green state. Write your Democrat Congressman and Senators and tell them to support renewable energy in a way that brings the Republicans to the cause.