WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Advanced biofuels from cellulosic material and algae can reduce reliance on oil and create green jobs; sustained, diverse federal programs are necessary to help producers secure financing for construction of projects. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Advanced BioFuels Association (ABFA), and the Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) today joined other trade organizations and advanced biofuel companies to ask leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee to extend the expiration of the cellulosic biofuels production tax credit, make algae and other advanced biofuels eligible, and create an optional, refundable investment tax credit in the next appropriate revenue vehicle considered by the House.

The letter states, "Enactment of a refundable investment tax credit, similar to those given other nascent industries, will help move near-commercial projects forward given the current lack of private capital as a result of the recession. This approach was granted to the wind, biomass and geothermal industries under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, and this spring the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Treasury testified that this approach was a great success in the deployment of new jobs and new renewable technology over the last year. We believe it can have similar effect for creating jobs in the Advanced and Cellulosic biofuels sector."

Advanced biofuel producers seeking the investment needed to build biorefineries and infrastructure are finding it especially challenging to raise financing for first-of-a-kind commercial-scale facilities. Extension of tax credits is intended to provide potential investors the certainty they need to make long-term investments in new cellulosic and algae-based advanced biofuel facilities. The refundable investment tax credit is intended to provide advanced biofuel developers critical flexibility in electing the form of tax incentive that best suits a given project. These policies would demonstrate enduring federal commitment to increasing alternative energy production.

The GREEN JOB Act (H.R. 5142) is intended to support industry efforts to secure project financing by strengthening and expanding federal tax incentives for next generation biofuels, thus accelerating the development of biorefineries and high-wage American jobs. The legislation would open existing cellulosic biofuels tax credits to algae-based fuels and extend the credits through the end of 2016. The proposed legislation would also provide cellulosic and algae-based biorefineries an option to choose a refundable 30 percent investment tax credit in lieu of production incentives. Businesses would not be allowed to claim both the production and investment incentives but would be granted the flexibility to choose the incentive best suited to their business condition.

SOURCE: BIO and Advanced BioFuels Association and Algal Biomass Organization.