Tax incentives that support advanced biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals are vital to attracting investment needed to build a robust, sustainable renewable industry. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) expressed thanks to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, for introducing the Domestic Energy Promotion Act of 2011, which would extend the availability of the cellulosic biofuel tax credit.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, stated, “Industrial biotechnology companies have made significant investments in research and development for advanced and cellulosic biofuels, and the technology is ready for commercial deployment. But with the recent economic downturn, few companies have been able to raise the capital needed to construct commercial biorefineries and begin producing cellulosic biofuel. Access to capital remains the biggest challenge for the industry, especially as high oil prices threaten to plunge the country into yet another recession.

“We commend Senator Grassley for recognizing the need for long-term, stable tax policies in helping to attract investment the construction of new advanced biofuel biorefineries and for his efforts to extend the current cellulosic biofuel production tax credit. Few advanced biofuel companies have been able to make use of this credit to date. A more comprehensive federal policy that mitigates the risks of investment in new, innovative technologies could help achieve the national goals of reducing reliance on foreign oil, increasing energy security, creating domestic jobs, and improving the environment. Such a policy would provide flexibility for next generation biorefineries through a choice of investment or production tax credits and increase eligibility for emerging, cutting-edge technologies such as algae, renewable chemicals and biobased products. Tax incentives would then help to build a robust, sustainable renewable industry.”