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Letter: Standing up for Minnesota farmers

Staff WriterMay 26, 2019

Rep. Jim Hagedorn deserves thanks for supporting farmers in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District by sponsoring the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019. This legislation would provide a two-year extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive.

Cleary, Rep. Hagedorn understands and appreciates that agriculture is the economic backbone of southern Minnesota. As a soybean farmer in his district, I applaud the congressman for standing up for producers as we continue enduring low commodity prices amid a prolonged trade war with our largest trading partner.

Many industries — from farmers and biofuel producers, to fuel blenders and truckers — rely on the value of the tax incentive. If biodiesel production slows down, it would impact all of these sectors.

Biodiesel production supports more than 60,000 jobs throughout the United States and nearly 5,400 jobs in Minnesota. The two biodiesel plants in the 1st District produce more than 80 million gallons of biodiesel each year.

Biodiesel, the only advanced fuel recognized by the EPA, contributes approximately $1.7 billion in economic activities in Minnesota. As the national leader in biodiesel, Minnesota needs to continue promoting the biodiesel industry and supporting jobs across the country.

Congress has traditionally renewed the tax credit for one or two years at a time, but allowed it to expire in 2017. We have waited 15 months for Congress to take action. A predictable, long-term tax incentive would be best for everyone.

This two-year extension is needed and I hope Rep. Hagedorn will convince his congressional colleagues to follow his lead by supporting this piece of legislation.

Michael Petefish, Claremont Soybean Growers Association president.

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