Cantwell, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Biodiesel

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined a group of bipartisan colleagues to introduce legislation to support the continued use of biodiesel and broaden America’s energy independence. The bipartisan Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 would extend the current dollar per gallon federal biodiesel tax credit through 2025.

“Domestically produced biodiesel remains an essential component of any strategy to decarbonize our nation’s transportation system, particularly the freight industry. Extending the biodiesel tax credit will give Washington state biodiesel producers the certainty they need to continue producing petroleum alternatives while saving drivers at the pump,” said Cantwell.

After the tax incentive was first implemented, the U.S. biodiesel market grew from about 100 million gallons annually in 2005 to more than 2.6 billion in 2016. For every 100 million gallon increase in U.S. biodiesel production, this creates 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. A shift to 100% domestic production would support an additional 9,900 jobs, $400 million in wages, and $2.5 billion in economic activity.

Biodiesel and renewable diesel also reduce carbon and criteria pollutant emissions from existing diesel engines. According to Argonne National Labs, biodiesel reduces engine particulate emissions by more than 45% and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57-86% when compared to petroleum diesel. Further, homegrown biodiesel diversifies transportation fuels and reduces dependence on foreign oil.

Senator Cantwell has been a long-time advocate for a more modern, clean, and diverse energy system. In the 2019 end-of-year appropriations bill, Cantwell secured critical clean energy tax incentives, including extensions of the biodiesel tax credit. Cantwell joined with Grassley to introduce similar legislation promoting biodiesel in 2015 and 2017. In 2007, Cantwell helped author the Renewable Fuels Standard, which, along with increasing vehicle fuel economy standards, has helped reduce our nation’s dependence on oil.

In addition to Senators Cantwell (D-WA) and Grassley (R-IA), Senators Murray (D-WA), Ernst (R-IA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Marshall (R-KS), Shaheen (D-NH), Fischer (R-NB), Rounds (R-SD), Smith (D-MN), and Hirono (D-HI) also cosponsored the legislation.

The full text of the bill is available HERE.