The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, (H.R. 4213), which would reinstate the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit through the end of 2010,
among other tax extenders.

The credit, which expired Dec. 31, 2009, was made retroactive in the bill, so any biodiesel blended in 2010 would be eligible for the credit.

According to the American Trucking Associations, this issue is especially important to the trucking industry in light of the federal renewable fuel standard, which requires the use of 1 billion gallons of biodiesel this year.

The Senate is expected to take up the measure the week of June 7. Both the House and the Senate are on Memorial Day Recess this week. However, provisions in the legislation not related to the biodiesel tax credit, including concerns over the cost of the bill and its impact to the deficit, remain an obstacle to Senate's passage of the bill, according to ATA.

The National Biodiesel Board praised the House action. "Since the tax incentive's inception six years ago, the biodiesel industry has created tens of thousands of green jobs, added $4.1 billion to the nation's GDP and generated $828 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments," said Manning Feraci, vice president of federal affairs. "However, since the incentive has lapsed the industry has shed thousands of jobs, shuttered plants and is struggling to survive."