The American Soybean Association (ASA) is applauding Senate passage of the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010," and urges prompt House passage of the legislation.

The Senate bill makes the biodiesel tax incentive retroactive for 2010, and extends it through 2011.

"ASA thanks the Senate for passing this legislation, which is crucial to the economic viability of the U.S. biodiesel industry," said ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Ind. "Biodiesel is a major market for U.S. soybean oil, and has been a key factor in supporting domestic soybean prices in recent years."

The bill, which now moves on to the House for a possible vote later this week, provides for an expedited process for U.S. biodiesel producers to claim retroactive 2010 credits. In 2009, the U.S. biodiesel industry produced 545 million gallons of biodiesel. Based on August and September production levels, 2010 production is expected to be 345 million gallons, a decline of over 35 percent from the previous year.

"Many biodiesel plants in the U.S. are either idle or are producing at less than their overall capacity," Kemper said. "If the House does not pass this legislation, continuing absence of the biodiesel tax credit will cause further job losses and undermine our ability to increase production of domestic renewable biodiesel."