April 28, 2017

Whitehouse Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Bolster RI’s Growing Renewable Fuels Industry

Bill would improve biodiesel incentive to benefit American producers, grow renewable energy jobs

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and 13 other senators in introducing bipartisan legislation to reform the biodiesel tax credit to benefit American producers and extend the new policy for three years.  The previous biodiesel credit expired in 2016. 

“Biodiesel producers are reducing our carbon footprint and creating jobs in Rhode Island by transforming waste into clean, productive fuel,” said Whitehouse.  “This bipartisan legislation would provide local producers the stability they need to ramp up growth and hire more Rhode Islanders.”

The Senators’ American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017 extends an important clean-fuel incentive for three years, and reforms the incentive by transferring the credit from the blenders to the producers of biofuels.  The switch ensures that the tax credit incentivizes domestic production and taxpayers are not subsidizing imported fuel.  Since 2014, biofuels imports have increased from 510 million gallons to about one billion gallons in 2016.  Already in the first quarter of 2017, imports are 10 percent higher than they were at this time in 2016. 

“The Grassley-Cantwell bill is extremely important to Newport Biodiesel, allowing us to continue expansion of our production facility—thereby creating more jobs and a greener environment for Rhode Island,” said Bob Morton, Managing Partner at Newport Biodiesel, which converts used vegetable oil from local restaurants into clean fuel.  “The change to a producers credit in the bill will ensure that domestic biodiesel can compete with imported fuel, and the three-year extension of the credit provides stability.  We thank Senator Whitehouse for his continued leadership and support of this legislation.”

Biodiesel is a diverse fuel that can be produced from a wide array of resources, including recycled cooking oil, soybean and other plant oils, and animal fats.  The benefits of biodiesel are many, as domestic biodiesel production supports tens of thousands of jobs, and replacing traditional diesel with biodiesel reduces emissions and creates cleaner air.  Homegrown biodiesel improves U.S. energy security by diversifying transportation fuels and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

“Senator Whitehouse has been a strong proponent of the local and national biodiesel industry,” said Jim Malloy, Managing Partner at T.H. Malloy and Sons in Cumberland, RI.  “This is a great step forward.  Switching from a blenders credit that benefits foreign biodiesel to a producers credit will provide a boost for American biodiesel companies.  This legislation will help grow jobs in Rhode Island and across the country, as the biodiesel industry is poised and ready to supply more of the nation’s energy needs.” 

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921