WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, July 27, 2010) - As Congress takes action on critical tax incentive packages, the leading advanced biofuel trade associations reemphasized the importance of advanced biofuels as promising opportunities for the United States to reduce its reliance on oil and create green jobs. Sustained and diverse federal programs, including tax incentives, can help producers secure financing for construction of projects. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Advanced BioFuels Association (ABFA) and Algal Biomass Organization today thanked Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) for introducing legislation that would make algae and other second-generation biofuels eligible for the cellulosic biofuels production tax credit and create an optional investment tax credit. The groups released the following joint statement:
“As a result of the recession, private capital has been on the sidelines. Enactment of an investment tax credit, similar to those given other nascent industries, can help second-generation advanced biofuel projects make the crucial step to commercializing innovative technologies. This approach was granted to the wind, biomass and geothermal industries under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, and this spring the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Treasury testified that this approach was a great success in the deployment of new jobs and new renewable technology over the last year. We believe the same results of creating jobs in the algae, advanced and cellulosic biofuels sectors can be realized with this much-needed boost by Congress.
“Advanced biofuel producers seeking the investment needed to build biorefineries and infrastructure are finding it especially challenging to raise financing for first-of-a-kind commercial-scale facilities. Enduring federal commitment to increasing alternative energy production should provide potential investors the certainty they need to make long-term investments in new cellulosic and algae-based advanced biofuel facilities. An optional investment tax credit can provide second-generation biofuel developers critical flexibility in electing the form of tax incentive that best suits a given project.
“BIO, ABFA and ABO believe these measures are a very good start to providing advanced biofuel producers assistance in attracting necessary capital to build new biorefineries. We look forward to working with the committee as well as leaders in the Senate to enact them.”
The Chairman’s discussion draft of tax legislation is intended to support industry efforts to secure project financing by strengthening and expanding federal tax incentives for second-generation biofuels. The legislation includes language authored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) that would open existing cellulosic biofuels tax credits to algae-based fuels. The proposed legislation also includes a provision introduced by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and co-sponsored by 15 members of the Ways and Means Committee that would provide cellulosic and algae-based biorefineries an option to choose a 30 percent investment tax credit in lieu of production incentives. Businesses would not be allowed to claim both the production and investment incentives but would be granted the flexibility to choose the incentive best suited to their business condition.
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BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech Now, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech Now.