In Wake of Oil Spill, Biodiesel Tax Credit More Important Than Ever

BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has been spewing nearly 210,000 gallons of oil into the ocean each day has already had a significant impact on the environment, and on the attitudes of many when considering fossil fuel alternatives such as biofuel. Eleven men were killed in the explosion that caused the spill, and hundreds of miles of coastline have been damaged.  Even the chemical dispersants being used to mitigate the effects of the disaster can have harmful effect, but are being used as a lesser of two evils.  The question in the minds of many is why continue this dangerous practice, after seeing these horrible effects and we have safe alternatives?  How far will we go for oil supplies?

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and a high-profile Republican, has come out against off-shore drilling after the disaster, saying that the environmental impacts are not worth the potential economic gain. “You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, ‘Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?”‘ he said.

According to the EPA, biodiesel fuels are biodegradable.  This means that if a spill occurs, biodiesel breaks down into sugars and starches, rather than harsh chemicals, and is non-toxic to animal and marine life.

The US has the means to produce this safe fuel alternative, but has let tax credits expire that are essential to keeping this industry working.  In light of this disaster, it is more important than ever to renew these tax credits and help those who are providing safe, clean and affordable fuel for Americans.

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