WASHINGTON - Four U.S. biodiesel producers are pleading with Congress to retroactively restore the federal biodiesel tax credit, DomesticFuel.com reports. The producers are part of a media campaign to restore the incentive, which expired five months ago.
National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe, along with the four biodiesel producers, are hoping that lawmakers will reinstate the biodeisel tax incentive before Memorial Day.
Bernie Crowley of Delta American Fuel credited the incentive as the reason his company started in biodiesel five years ago. "Iï¿½ï¿½ve basically spent my last five years investing our hard-won capital over 50 years of business in this industry," said Crowley.
Production levels are up at his plant and he was looking to hire 35 to 40 new employees but "weï¿½ï¿½ve been on pause since January 1," and the plant could soon let people go.
Gen-X Energy Group President Scott Johnson said they have reached out to global markets in order to keep the business afloat with the tax incentive, closing a plant last year when it became iffy if the tax credit would be renewed.
"The Gen-X vision is to be one of the leading biofuel producers in the United States, with or without the federal biodiesel tax credit, however the time line to achieve this vision can be significantly decreased through federal support," said Johnson.
"Since January, we held on with the expectation that Congress would deliver," said Bobby Heiser with Nittany Biodiesel, which had a $30 million investment into its versatile biodiesel plant. The plant ended up laying off more than half of its workforce when the money ran out. "With mounting losses, weï¿½ï¿½ve continued to operate, but we canï¿½ï¿½t sell at even a break-even production level at this point."
REG (Renewable Energy Group) CEO Jeff Stroburg said the elimination of the tax credit lowered capacity at their five plants by more than 75 percent. "So all of that capacity is practically idled right now, thereï¿½ï¿½s very little demand for biodiesel in the market place as a result of the uncertainty," he said.