WASHINGTON, April 6, 2016 - Groups representing biodiesel and advanced biofuels hope to get extension of their industries’ expiring tax credits included in an FAA reauthorization bill. Democrats have been pushing Republicans to include extensions of some tax credits that they were say were mistakenly left out of the giant spending and tax bill in December.
The biofuel tax benefits, which includes a $1-a-gallon credit for biodiesel, were extended only through this year by the bill, while tax incentives for wind and solar power were continued for five years.
A letter sent to key lawmakers Tuesday from biofuel industry groups said the expiring tax incentives “are needed to stimulate capital investment and growth of clean energy production and are vital to ongoing development of the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry.”
“We are asking that they receive consideration for extension beyond 2016 early this year,” said Paul Winters of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “If tax credits are considered in the FAA bill, we’d like these to be included in the discussion.”
In addition to the biodiesel subsidy, the expiring measures include a $1.01-per-gallon credit for cellulosic fuels, a bonus depreciation allowance for advanced biofuel plants, and a tax credit that offsets the expense of installing biofuel pumps.
The chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, John Thune, R-S.D., said there is ongoing discussion with Democrats about including some tax extenders in the FAA legislation’s tax title. Thune said Republicans will need Democratic support to get the 60 votes necessary to move the bill.
The measures that were left out of the December bill include tax credits for fuel cells and geothermal power. “We have been talking almost nonstop about this for weeks,” said Ron Wyden, ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “I think we’re making some good progress, and we’ll have some more to say about it in not too long.”
However, inclusion of these credits is not a slam dunk. More than 30 conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action for America, the National Taxpayers Union and the American Energy Alliance, oppose the inclusion of the tax credit extensions, calling them a “distortion of the tax laws for special interests in the renewable energy industry” and were wisely left out of last year’s package.
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