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Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, is a solid champion for Illinois’ biodiesel industry and I want to thank him for co-sponsoring the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (H.R. 2089). We need Congress to enact this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible to provide a two-year extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive.

Farmers, biofuel producers, fuel blenders and truckers across the state benefit from the tax incentive. Illinois’ biodiesel producers provide a market for surplus soybean oil from the state’s farmers, used cooking oil from restaurants, and animal fats from meat producers. Biodiesel adds more than 60 cents to the value of every bushel of soybeans grown here. If biodiesel production slows down, it would impact jobs and economic prospects in all of these sectors. Biodiesel production supports more than 60,000 jobs across the United States.

Congress needs to act fast. The tax incentive has been expired since the end of 2017, even though Congress has signaled several times that it would be renewed. Everyone who shares the value of the tax incentive – farmers, biofuel producers, and blenders – has counted on it coming back. Uncertainty around the timing of the tax credit’s renewal is putting good-paying jobs at risk.

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A predictable, long-term tax incentive would be best for everyone. But right now, the industry desperately needs this two-year extension that Rep. LaHood has co-sponsored.

Rob Shaffer, El Paso

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