Modest changes in federal tax policy would address significant barrier to commercialization of algae-based fuels and help spur job growth
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 4, 2010 – The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the leading trade association for the industry, today urged Congress and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) to adopt an amendment offered by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mike Crapo (D-ID) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to the “Tax Extenders Act of 2009” (H.R. 4213) that would ensure algae-based fuels receive the financial and regulatory benefits currently afforded to other advanced biofuel feedstocks and promote the development and commercialization of algae-based fuels. The adoption of this amendment will be a significant step in creating new jobs, increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“This amendment would address one of biggest barriers to the further commercialization of algae-based biofuels – financial parity with other feedstocks,” said Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director of the ABO. “Today, producers are handicapped by a tax code that doesn’t give algae-based fuels the same tax incentives that other advanced biofuels receive, and thus handicaps the algae-based fuel industry as a whole. Providing the tax incentives currently accorded to other advanced biofuels will level the playing field for algae, and help ensure that federal policy supports the development of one of the most promising domestic, renewable, low-carbon, next-generation fuels.”
Current federal tax policy discourages the production of algae-based fuels by failing to provide the same incentives accorded to other advanced biofuels feedstocks, which has made it more difficult for algae producers to attract the capital that is required to construct commercial-scale production facilities. Specifically, algae producers’ inability to access the $1.01 per gallon production tax credit currently afforded to other advanced biofuels has slowed the algae industry’s development.
“The recent ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency that algae-based fuels provide at least 50% emissions reductions compared to petroleum based fuels supports what we’ve been saying all along: algae-based fuels are one of the most environmentally sustainable biofuels in the United States,” said Rosenthal. “Algae’s environmental benefits, coupled with its enormous potential to stimulate our green economy, are just a few of the many reasons Congress should ensure that the tax code provide incentives to advance the development of an entire industry focused on creating renewable, sustainable and domestically-produced fuels that reduce emissions, enhance American energy security and, when fully commercialized, would create tens of thousands of American jobs.”
Along with recognizing the leadership of Senators Nelson, Crapo and Bingaman, ABO praised Senators Tom Udall (D-CO) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) for their support of the amendment and the burgeoning algae industry.
About the ABO
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and advocate for the development of commercially-viable transportation and power generation fuels as well as other non-energy applications for algae biomass. Its membership is comprised of people, companies and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits and members and their affiliations, is available at the website.
John Williams, Scoville PR for ABO