U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) has introduced a bill that would provide a partial federal excise tax exemption for diesel blended with biodiesel, a fuel made from domestic resources such as soybean oil.Jefferson City, Missouri – March 21, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The House Bill, HR 1279, is similar to a biodiesel tax provision found in S. 597, a comprehensive energy bill introduced earlier this week by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT). According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the incentive is critical to help break down barriers for biodiesel in a highly competitive marketplace. It is similar to a bill Hulshof introduced last year in an effort to show strong House support for a biodiesel tax incentive provision in last year’s Senate Energy Bill. Congress ran out of time before taking action on energy legislation. Both the Hulshof bill and this year’s Senate Energy Bill would provide a one-cent reduction in the federal diesel fuel excise tax for each percentage of biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel up to 20 percent. “Encouraging the use of biodiesel holds great promise,” Hulshof said. “It opens new markets for agriculture, creates jobs in our rural communities, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and is friendly to the environment. My bill is meant to make biodiesel’s potential a reality.” Biodiesel’s significant benefits to the environment, human health, the economy and domestic energy security have earned the fuel broad bipartisan support. Representative Hulshof introduced this bill with the following cosponsors: Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Ron Lewis (R-KY), Jerry Weller (R-IL), Marion Berry (D-AR), John Shimkus (R-IL), Jim Ryun (R-KS), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Ike Skelton (D-MO), Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), Jim Leach (R-IA), Wayne Gilcrest (R-MD), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Doug Bereuter (R-NE), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ray LaHood (R-IL), John Hostettler (R-IN), Jerry Costello (D-IL), William Lipinski (D-IL) and Mark Kennedy (RMN). “One thing that makes this proposal unique is that any cost to the Highway Trust Fund as a result of the biodiesel tax incentive would be repaid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation,” said Joe Jobe, executive director of the NBB. “The fact that this is cost neutral to the US Treasury does not even consider the enormous economic stimulus the incentive will have on domestic job creation, rural and urban economic development, and state and local tax revenues. Also, the incentive will have an impact on displacing foreign petroleum, the single largest component of our national trade deficit.” More than 300 major U.S. vehicle fleets already use the cleaner-burning alternative fuel that works in any diesel engine with few or no modifications. Biodiesel can be used in pure form (B100), or blended with petroleum diesel at any level. It offers similar fuel economy, horsepower and torque to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel reduces emissions like unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates and particulate matter. Soy biodiesel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide by 78 percent. Biodiesel is also the only alternative fuel to have completed the Health Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act.