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Published February 23, 2010, 08:39 AM

Visack proposes biodiesel tax credit restoration

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Feb. 18 called on Congress to re-establish the expired biodiesel tax credit. Vilsack praised the biodiesel tax credit as a job creator in rural America in his address to USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.

By: Jerry Hagstrom, Special to Agweek

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Feb. 18 called on Congress to re-establish the expired biodiesel tax credit. Vilsack praised the biodiesel tax credit as a job creator in rural America in his address to USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.

The biodiesel tax credit expired last year, and farm leaders say the industry is in danger because soy-based biodiesel cannot yet make money and needs the tax credit. The industry says 23,000 people are employed in the industry. The Senate Finance Committee passed a measure that would extend the tax credit, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not include that measure and others in a job creation bill that the Senate is expected to consider soon.

After his speech, Vilsack told reporters that the tax credit is needed because “biodiesel is an industry in its infancy, and it needs help.”

Although soybean growers, the industry and some members of Congress have urged Reid to attach it to the jobs bill, Vilsack said, “The key is getting it on a must-do bill. It doesn’t have to be the jobs bill. I think it will happen.”

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