The American Soybean Association (ASA) is celebrating the final passage of legislation that includes a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive and ASA-supported estate tax provisions.

“Retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit through Dec. 31, 2011, represents a significant legislative achievement on a key ASA priority,” said ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Ind. “Soybean farmers greatly appreciate the work of Congress and the Administration to get this legislation passed before the end of the year.”

The biodiesel tax credit has been expired for 349 days, resulting in job losses and undermining the United States’ ability to increase production of domestic renewable biodiesel. Biodiesel production in 2010 decreased more than 35 percent from the previous year. The biodiesel tax credit has a direct impact on jobs and is critical to supporting the biodiesel industry, a major market for U.S. soybean oil and a key factor in supporting domestic soybean prices in recent years.

“It’s been a long process and ASA has worked tirelessly since the tax credit’s expiration to get it reinstated,” Kemper said. “ASA farmer-leaders have met with members of Congress on numerous occasions, supported by ASA members, the National Biodiesel Board, and supporters who have responded to our Action Alerts by calling and emailing their representatives in an effort to get a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit passed.”

The one-dollar-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive is structured in a manner that makes biodiesel more competitive with petroleum diesel fuel in the market place. Absent the tax incentive, biodiesel is more expensive than conventional diesel fuel.