Durbin Meets With National Biodiesel Board To Discuss Biodiesel Tax Credit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, met with members of the National Biodiesel Board to discuss the biodiesel market, and its impact on energy, the environment, and agriculture. The group discussed the importance of extending the biodiesel tax credit, which expired in 2017. This is the longest lapse ever in the tax credit’s history, which dates back to 2005.

Durbin also brought up his effort to fight for more transparency in the small refinery hardship waiver process, which has hurt biodiesel and ethanol prices, reduced biofuel blending, and forced a handful of Midwestern biofuels plants to close.

“Today, I heard from members of the National Biodiesel Board, who represent countless soybean and biodiesel producers in Illinois, about the importance of extending the biodiesel tax credit. I also ensured them that I will continue my bipartisan efforts to push the Trump Administration to end its abuse of small refinery hardship exemptions that undercut the premise of E15 gasoline sales,” Durbin said.

In August, Durbin urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to end the harmful abuse of small refinery hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Durbin stressed that under the Trump Administration, the granting of waivers has increased by 370 percent with “small refinery” waivers going to prosperous large oil companies while causing more rural biofuels companies to shutter operations.  After an agreement in October ostensibly designed to restore the lost biofuels gallons caused by the waivers, EPA stunned observers by publishing details that watered down the numbers and slashed the promised volumes by half.

Durbin also introduced a bipartisan bill with Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) that would require EPA transparency with small refinery hardship waivers.