Biofuel trade groups ask for multiyear tax credit extensions

Source: By Erin Voegele, Biomass Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On April 5, six biofuel trade associations sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Senate Committee on Finance, and House Ways and Means Committee asking for a multiyear extension of advanced biofuel tax credits.

In December, Congress granted a two-year extension to the second generation biofuel producer tax credit, the special depreciation allowance for second generation biofuel plant property, the biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel credit, the alternative fuel and alternative fuel mixture excise tax credit, and the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit. Those credits are currently scheduled to expire at the end of the current year.

Within the letter, the trade groups stress the “short-term expiration of tax incentives is jeopardizing the long-term investment necessary for advanced biofuels. This creates uncertainty for investors and industry about the availability of these credits in the future.

The associations are urging lawmakers to ensure advanced biofuels are addresses as Congress works on developing energy tax extenders legislation. “Extending some 2016 expiring energy tax provisions and not others creates a piecemeal approach and investment uncertainty across the energy sector and distorts the playing field for biofuel producers,” they wrote. The groups have also asked Congress to reject the creation of a phase-out for these renewable energy incentives. “The PTC and associated depreciation provisions have never been enacted for a sufficient length of time to allow investors to depend upon their existence once the facilities are eventually placed in service,” they continued. “Ending the tax credits on an arbitrary date in the near term will hamper the utilization of these incentives for an industry where financing and constructing new facilities takes an average five to six years.”

Within the letter, the groups also ask Congress to move quickly, extending the biofuel tax credits ahead of the expiration date to avoid creating any uncertainty for investors and companies trying to raise capital.

The letter is signed by the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, the Algae Biomass Association, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Growth Energy, the National Biodiesel Board and the Renewable Fuels Association. A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the BIO website.