With Congressional approval of the Senate’s year-end fiscal package this week, three ethanol tax credits have been extended into 2013, and the biodiesel blender’s credit has been reinstated for both 2012 (retroactive) and 2013.
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs, National Biodiesel Board (NBB), said that the biodiesel industry lost a lot of jobs in 2012 after the tax incentive was allowed to lapse on December 31, 2011. She added, however, that the NBB was “pleased that Congress has finally approved an extension so that we can get production back on track.” Because of this decision, the biodiesel industry could see positive economic impacts with companies expanding production and hiring new employees in 2013, Steckel suggested.
A recent study, conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm, found that the industry would have produced an additional 300 million gallons of biodiesel in 2012 with the tax incentive in place. That would have supported some 19,213 additional jobs, for a total of 83,258 jobs supported by the industry nationwide.
Steckel thanked the industry's supporters on Capitol Hill for pressing for the incentive, including Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa); and Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
Ethanol tax credit extensions
On the ethanol front, Bob Dinneen, president and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association, said “The one-year extension of the cellulosic producer tax credit and accelerated depreciation provides some measure of certainty to ensure that 2013 will be a year of growth and milestones for the advanced ethanol industry.” Dinneen added that the extension of the alternative fuel infrastructure tax credit will accelerate E15’s entry into the marketplace this coming year.
Calls for waiving the cellulosic biofuel mandate
But also this week, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) has again petitioned the EPA to waive the 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate. It cites a lack of domestic supply available for commercial use.
“The EPA Moderated Transaction System demonstrates that there has been, and continues to be, an inadequate domestic supply of cellulosic biofuel. To date in 2012, just 20,069 gallons of cellulosic biofuel has been produced, all of which was exported,” the AFPM reported. “This amount falls far short of the EPA-mandated 10.45 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic biofuel. In addition, since the cellulosic that actually was produced was exported, refiners cannot use credits generated from these biofuels for complying with the federal mandate.”