OP-ED: New Mexico Congressman Argues For Increased Algae Biofuel Incentives
Today, Congressman Harry Teague authored an opinion piece where he contends that algae is the best source of energy that can provide “stable, affordable prices; reduced dependence on foreign oil; fuels that are good for the environment; and energy jobs right here in America.” But, in order for this to happen, there are two things that are holding it up: tax law and the renewable fuel standard.
It turns out there are two immediate barriers to raising capital for commercial-scale production of algae-based fuel.
The first is a quirk in our tax code that provides tax incentives for cellulosic biofuel production but not for other advanced technology feedstock — meaning algae.
The second is our nation’s renewable fuel standard, which mandates that, by 2022, 16 billion gallons of our annual fuel demand must be satisfied by cellulosic fuel — but algae don’t qualify and receive no benefit from the RFS.
In order to change this problem, Congressman Teague and Senator Ben Nelson have authored bills that would “end this discriminatory treatment and ensure that algae-based fuels are on a level playing field with cellulosic fuels in the tax code” as well as “replace the renewable fuel standard’s exclusive carve-out for cellulosic biofuel with one for any advanced green biofuel” including algae.