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Ohio's biodiesel industry and jobs at risk

The Ohio Soybean Association is calling on congress to renew an extension of a $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit originally enacted in 2004. The tax encourages business and consumers to use biodiesel to reduce the nations dependence on foreign oil. The tax expired at the end of December, and in its absence the OSA
says it harms the future prosperity of statewide businesses supported by domestic biodiesel production.

“Hundreds of jobs are threatened if congress fails to extend this tax credit” said Jamie Butts, OSA executive director. He says Ohio soybean farmers will lose a significant market opportunity if action is not taken immediately. The expiration of the tax credit he says, endangers the country's billion dollar biodiesel industry which would have detrimental effects on Ohio's economy.

Experts say biodiesel will now be significantly more expensive in the marketplace than petroleum diesel fuel. They also say layoffs for workers in businesses supported by domestic biodiesel production are certain, directly affecting the states eight plants, 150 distributors and 50 retail fuel stations.

Butts says since its enactment, the biodiesel tax incentive has increased the domestic production and use of 25 million gallons in 2004 to 690 million gallons in 2008. In 2009, the industry supported more than 23,000 jobs nationwide, displaced more than 26 million barrels of oil and added more than 4 billion dollars to the national economy.

The OSA, using figures from the U.S. Dept of Energy, says without biodiesel production to offset the country's energy costs, gas prices would increase between 20 cents and 35 cents per gallon. And if the tax credit extension is not passed, Butts says, the average U.S. Household lose the $150 to $300 savings it had in 2008

The OSA makes no beans about it saying swift passage of the tax credit extension is vital to the nations economies and energy independence.

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