NATSO, Trade Groups Applaud Biodiesel Blenders’ Tax Credit Legislation

NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, along with the Advanced Biofuels Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), Petroleum Marketers Association of America, and the American Trucking Associations, has commended Reps. Diane Black, R-Tenn., and Ron Kind, D-Wis., for introducing bipartisan legislation that would extend the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit and ultimately phase it out over five years.

“We applaud Representatives Black and Kind for introducing a measure that will enable consumers to have access to cleaner-burning fuel at the lowest-possible cost,” says NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings.

The trade groups also support the proposal’s five-year phaseout. In the past, the federal biodiesel tax credit has been allowed to expire (as it did at the end of 2016), forcing market participants to wait for it to be retroactively renewed at the end of each year.

Under the phaseout proposed by Black and Kind, the tax credit amount for all biodiesel blenders would be $1.00 per gallon in 2017 and 2018, $0.75 per gallon in 2019, $0.50 per gallon in 2020 and 2021, and zero in 2022 and later.

“The five-year phaseout contained in this legislation – which mirrors policy that has been enacted for other alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar – is designed to provide much-needed policy certainty to the market. The phaseout is also compatible with congressional efforts to reform and simplify the tax code,” comments Mullings.

Brad Puryear, general counsel of Mansfield Energy and chairman of SIGMA’s legislative committee, says, “We support this bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Black and and Kind that would extend and phase out the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit. The blenders’ credit encourages fuel marketers to expand usage of biodiesel, which contributes to American energy independence, promotes cleaner energy and supports the mission of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The blenders’ credit also results in a more competitive price of diesel fuel at the pump for all consumers. The phaseout is fiscally prudent and provides business with clear direction and time to adapt to changes.”

Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA), said the ABA’s “membership is grateful and will work vigorously to support the bipartisan legislation introduced by Congresswoman Diane Black and Ron Kind today. This legislation is crucial to the continued success for all biodiesel sold and used in the United States. The continuation of the existing tax credit is the only way that money finds its way back to the pockets of those buying the fuel through lower cost.”

According to the trade groups, the legislation provides a viable off-ramp for the tax credit, ultimately facilitating free market economics to drive biodiesel supply and demand.

Since 2005, the $1-per-gallon biodiesel blenders’ tax credit has helped fuel retailers sell biodiesel at a price that is cost-competitive with diesel, thereby incentivizing consumer consumption. This tax credit expired at the end of 2016.

Under the proposed measure, the tax credit will remain at the blender level – a decision NATSO strongly supports. There has been a coordinated effort by a group of lawmakers representing states where biodiesel is produced and where its feedstock is grown to convert the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit to a producers’ credit. This would increase prices for consumers and, therefore, constrict biodiesel consumption, ultimately impeding U.S. efforts to advance the utilization of cleaner-burning fuels.

“By keeping the biodiesel tax credit at the blender level, it will impose downward pressure on the retail price of fuel in all markets in the United States,” Mullings says.

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