Hagedorn knows biodiesel benefits farmers
To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor contained a falsehood. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who represents Minnesota’s First Congressional District, did indeed sign onto the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (HR 2089) in May.
Hagedorn, along with several of his congressional colleagues from Minnesota – Representatives Angie Craig, Collin Peterson and Tom Emmer, respectively – have all put their support behind extending the Federal Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension. This bipartisan legislation would provide a three-year extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive.
Farmers, biofuel producers, fuel blenders and truckers rely on the value of the biodiesel tax incentive. If biodiesel production slows down, it would impact all of these sectors. Biodiesel production supports more than 60,000 jobs throughout the country and nearly 5,400 jobs in Minnesota alone. Rep. Hagedorn’s district produces more than 80 million gallons of biodiesel each year between its two biodiesel plants. Recognized by the U.S. EPA as the first advanced biofuel, biodiesel contributes nearly $1.7 billion in economic activities in Minnesota, adds 63 cents to every bushel of soybeans and increases demand for soybeans by 13 percent.
In addition to its sizable economic benefits, biodiesel is made from soybeans grown locally in Minnesota. With a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, Minnesota’s 20 percent biodiesel mandate during the summer and 5 percent during the winter months removes 230,000 vehicles from the road each year. Biodiesel is not only good for farmers, but also good for the environment, bringing benefits to all Minnesotans.
Congress has traditionally renewed the tax credit for one or two years at a time, but allowed it to expire in 2017. We have now waited 17 months for Congress to take action. A predictable, long-term tax incentive would be best for everyone. This three-year extension is desperately needed, and we appreciate Rep. Hagedorn and his colleagues for supporting farmers and renewable fuels.
Christian Lilienthal farms in Arlington and is a director with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.