A tax credit on biodiesel fuel that expired in December, virtually shutting down that portion of Iowa’s renewable fuels industry, is being revived. The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to extend the dollar-a-gallon tax credit through the end of 2010.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he’s encouraged by the vote for biodiesel. “It passed by 63 to 36 so it was a pretty strong vote for this,” Harkin says. “It’s good news for the biofuels industry, great news for Iowa. I believe the other part of the bill will provide tax and other relief for Iowa’s families and small businesses.”
Most of Iowa’s 15 biodiesel plants closed in January because of the lapsed subsidy. Harkin says the biodiesel legislation was part of a larger tax and jobs provisions package. “We have an extension of Medicaid assistance to the states, that’s so important,” Harkin says.
“We extended the unemployment and COBRA for people that’re unemployed to December 31st. At a time of crisis when people are out of work and really needing help, and when we need to ramp up our biodiesel industry, this is a very good bill.”
The Senate version of the bill needs to be reconciled with the House version before it can go on to the president.