ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — The American Soybean Association (ASA) on Sept. 16 expressed extreme disappointment and frustration with the U.S. Senate for its inability to extend the Biodiesel Tax Incentive that expired on Dec. 31, 2009.
The Senate voted 41-58 against a motion to suspend the rules and accept an amendment offered by Sen. Charles Grassley to enact a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Sept. 15 that the U.S. Senate would consider a motion to suspend the rules on the amendment to the Small Business Bill filed by Sen. Grassley to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2010.
"Biodiesel has provided a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers as well as jobs and economic development for rural communities," said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio, U.S. "ASA appreciates the efforts of Sen. Grassley to include the long overdue extension of the biodiesel tax credit in this Bill."
This motion to suspend the rules required 67 votes to pass and was necessary because the amendment tree had been filled by the majority leader and cloture was already invoked on the underlying bill. Procedural issues and larger partisan political issues unrelated to the biodiesel tax credit have prevented favorable Senate action on the tax credit. ASA believes that extension of the biodiesel tax credit is supported by a majority of senators who recognize its importance in generating jobs, renewable fuel, a cleaner environment, and positive benefits for farmers and their communities.
"ASA is severely disappointed in the failure of the Senate to extend the biodiesel tax credit," Joslin said. "At a time when jobs and renewable energy production are cited as top priorities, it is unacceptable that Congress would fail to extend the biodiesel tax credit. The biodiesel tax credit has a direct impact on jobs and it is a homegrown renewable energy source — the first and only advanced biofuel commercially produced in the U.S."
ASA said it will continue to press its case in the weeks remaining before Congress adjourns to campaign for the upcoming elections.