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Maine Takes Significant Step in Addressing Climate Challenge Through Renewable Chemicals Tax Credit

March 19, 2020
Media Contact
Connor McKoy

Maine is speeding up its transformation to a 21st-century, biobased economy with the passing of the Renewable Chemicals Tax Credit, which will foster the production of environmentally friendly innovations—like renewable chemicals and biobased products.

“In order to address the climate challenge, we must shed our reliance on fossil fuels across all sectors—from fuels to manufacturing,” said Stephanie Batchelor, VP of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section. “Not only will this tax credit reduce the carbon footprint from manufacturing in the state, it will create hundreds of jobs and ignite the state’s biobased economy.”

The bill LD 1698, “An Act to Create Jobs and Slow Climate Change by Promoting the Production of Natural Resources Bioproducts,” was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills on March 18.

BIO worked closely with the legislature and Governor’s office to demonstrate the benefits of biobased manufacturing, that can convert renewable biomass to value-added renewable chemicals and biobased products. These environmentally friendly products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help keep plastic out of the ocean to the benefit of the state’s billion-dollar lobster industry.

“The legislation will incentivize new, climate-friendly biobased technologies to invest in Maine, fighting global climate change and creating high-paying green jobs that will revolutionize Maine’s mill town communities suffering from economic distress,” noted the Environmental Health Strategy Center in a release on the bill when it was first being considered in 2019.

The bill was unanimously passed by the State Senate in June 2019, however, concerns over the tax credit structure and certificate requirements for loggers kept it from being signed into law.

After addressing those concerns in an amendment, the bill was passed again by the State Legislature and signed into law.

To read BIO’s testimony on the bill, click here.

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