Leaders of America’s rapidly emerging advanced biofuels industry urged congressional leaders to extend two tax provisions that are critical to the ongoing development and commercialization of new biofuel production technologies.

In a letter addressed to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, more than 30 advanced biofuel company CEOs pressed for a five-year extension of the Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit (PTC) and the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Property.

Citing the need for continuity and parity in U.S. energy tax policy, the CEOs wrote, “[a]ccelerated depreciation allowances and production-related tax credits are currently offered to incumbent fossil energy industries. As such, the cellulosic biofuel PTC and accelerated depreciation allowance are critical to our efforts to attract capital given that these types of incentives are offered to other U.S. energy sectors. It will be much more difficult for our companies to develop projects in the United States if current depreciation allowances expire and taxes on our industry increase in 2013.”

Three leading advocates for advanced biofuels – the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) – echoed the statements made in the letter.

“If the United States expects to lead the global effort to develop new and innovative alternatives to increasingly expensive petroleum-derived fuels, it cannot afford to allow the very policies that support emerging advanced biofuel industries to expire,” said AEC Executive Director Brooke Coleman. “Extending these cost-effective tax provisions for a sensible length of time will level-set the marketplace relative to government support for fossil fuels and accelerate the commercial production of advanced biofuels from grasses, agricultural and wood residues, municipal solid waste, and a host of other resources.”

“Producing affordable domestic alternatives to all products that come from foreign oil is vital to renewed economic growth and energy security. Companies that are innovating need stable policy to bring commercial-scale alternatives to the market,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.

Michael McAdams, President of the ABFA stated, “At a time of record high gasoline prices the American public and their government need to explore every potential option to bring more renewable transportation fuels to the market in order to lower the overall cost to consumers.  Our members believe that supporting the existing cellulosic biofuels tax credit is a good value for every taxpayer and customer who has to pull up to the pump in the United States.”