Environmental Protection

Industry Organization Supports Bill to Make Algal Biofuels Eligible for Tax Credit

The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) announced its strong support for the Renewable Fuel Parity Act of 2011, formally introduced yesterday by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. The bill would give algae-based biofuels tax parity while leveling the playing field for all advanced biofuels by expanding the Clean Air Act’s definition of an advanced biofuel.

The bill removes a significant barrier facing companies that are using algae to produce advanced biofuels such as ethanol and diesel: They do not currently receive the same treatment in the tax code as other companies producing cellulosic biofuel from feedstocks. By amending the Clean Air Act and combining the existing categories of ‘‘cellulosic biofuel’’ and ‘‘advanced biofuel’’ into a single technology-neutral category of ‘‘advanced biofuel,’’ the bill gives algae-based companies the same tax treatment other biofuel companies have received for years.

“The Algal Biomass Organization applauds Senators Udall and Crapo for understanding the potential of algae technology to create jobs and increase energy independence while recognizing that the current renewable fuels policy is an inhibitor to our industry’s growth,” said Mary Rosenthal, executive director of ABO. “With this, we support the Renewable Fuel Parity Act of 2011 as presented. We share their view that algae-based fuels should be at parity with other renewable fuels in the tax code and in fuel standards. We will continue to work with Senator Udall on his initiative, similar House-sponsored legislation, and others in Congress to accelerate the commercial development of fuels made from algae through fair and effective policies.”

“The West and my home state of New Mexico are rich in opportunities for advanced biofuels, including algae, cellulosic and others. I support the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is already helping to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and this improvement will accelerate that success,” Udall said. “This bill simply puts all advanced biofuels on a level playing field and lets the market determine which types of fuel are produced to meet the standard.”

“Now more than ever, America needs a national energy plan that ensures we have access to reliable, affordable and cleaner domestic energy. Algae has been credited as a very promising feedstock in our quest for national energy independence, and its inclusion in the Renewable Fuel Standard will get us one step closer to that goal,” Crapo said.

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