The American Soybean Association applauds the U.S. Senate for last week passing the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008. The bill includes a one year extension of the biodiesel tax credit, which is a top priority for ASA and the nation's soybean farmers. The biodiesel tax credit was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2008.
The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 93-2 and will now head to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. "The American Soybean Association greatly appreciates the work of the Senate to extend the biodiesel tax credit," says ASA President John Hoffman, a farmer from Waterloo, Iowa. "Passage of this legislation to extend the biodiesel tax credit enhances the viability of the U.S. biodiesel industry, which is an important market for U.S. soybean farmers.
Bill now needs swift passage in U.S. House
"ASA now urges House members to swiftly pass the measure and send it to the President to be signed into law," he adds.
The bill also includes language that denies the biodiesel tax credit to fuel produced outside the U.S. for consumption outside the U.S. This is intended to shut down the abusive "splash and dash" practice that currently allows foreign produced fuel to enter the U.S., claim the biodiesel tax incentive and be shipped to a third country for end-use.
In 2005, ASA and its state affiliates successfully lobbied Congress to extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2008. Biodiesel sales grew from 75 million gallons in 2005 to 450 million gallons in 2007. The growth in biodiesel sales has raised soybean prices by a conservative estimate of at least $2.00 per bushel, increasing annual soybean farmer revenue in the U.S. by $5.1 billion.