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Published July 20, 2010, 08:12 AM

Once again, Senate leaders will attempt to pass a biodiesel tax credit

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to bring up once again a bill that contains a renewal of the biodiesel tax credit, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said July 13.

By: Jerry Hagstrom, Special to Agweek

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to bring up once again a bill that contains a renewal of the biodiesel tax credit, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said July 13.

The bill has failed several times because some senators have objected to the costs of the bill and refused to vote for it, but Klobuchar said in a speech to the American Soybean Association board that Reid had said he will bring it up again after a successor to the Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., joins the Senate.

“You can be assured it is not going to be suddenly dropped,” Klobuchar told the soybean board.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., told the same group that he thinks the Senate will pass the tax extenders bill this year. Johanns said that there may be an attempt to add the biodiesel tax credit renewal to a climate change bill, but he said such a move would cause “heartburn” in the Senate among both Republicans and Democrats who do not favor cap and trade legislation. Johanns also stressed the need to pass estate tax reform before the current estate tax law expires at the end of the year.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., said that she also would fight to keep the biodiesel provision in the bill.

“I am going to the mat for it,” Lincoln said.

The biodiesel industry cannot survive without the tax credit, Lincoln added, noting that some plants have laid off employees and others have closed. Biodiesel operators in Arkansas are “counting the days” until the bill is passed, Lincoln said.

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