Farmers urge Congress to renew biofuel tax credit


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Midwest lawmakers are joining together to renew a tax credit that would support agricultural workers who make biofuels.

They’re asking for a two-year extension on the biofuel tax credit, which gives producers a $1 per gallon tax credit. The program expired more than 15 months ago.

It has been a rough financial year for the American agriculture industry thanks to a tumultuous trade war with China, falling crop prices and a series of natural disasters. Now, farmers and manufacturers say they could face more money trouble if Congress doesn’t renew the biofuel tax credit.

“For 15 months, they’ve been selling at break even or a loss,” Kurt Kovark of the National Biodiesel Board said. “The longer they have to carry that burden, the less likely they are to get credit … that follows with layoffs and plant closures.”

He framed the matter is urgent for everyone, saying the subsidy keeps fuel prices down for truckers and reduces carbon emissions on the road.

“From our perspective, there’s no reason the entire country shouldn’t be on board,” Kovark said.

Since 2005, the tax credit has passed with bipartisan support, but this time it’s facing pushback from the White House.

“Americans can’t afford policies like this,” Katie Tubb of conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation said, arguing all energy subsidies should go. “If we want to get on a sustainable path, we need to take a look at all these tax policies.”

The plan, which has support from both parties, was just introduced in the House.

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