Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Biodiesel companies down the toilet taking billions in taxpayer money

Thank YOU self-aggrandizing Congresspersons. Now you will have to find another deep hole down which to throw our money.

Without the $1/gallon federal tax credit, the biodiesel industry no longer appears commercially viable

While most are hoping that the U.S. can transition to electric vehicles and vehicles running on sustainable biofuels, this last year has made it clear that the process will be no walk in the park. Recent studies showed that, in their current form, hydrogen cars emit more carbon over their lifecycle than gas cars. And early consumer electricvehicles, like the BMW Mini E, while low emissions, have suffered from a variety of temperature related woes.

Now the biofuels sector has become the latest green transportation field to suffer disappointment in 2009. The year started off rocky with the European Union in March unveiling import-killing tariffs on biodiesel and other biofuel. Then, as the U.S. recovered from the recession, diesel pricesdropped 18 percent off their highs, making it harder to justify the high costs of biodiesel.

Now another nail has been placed in the commercial biofuel industry' coffin -- the government $1/gallon federal tax credit will expire this Friday. And for many businesses in the industry, it may be the last; amid a frustrating market, many biodiesel makers across the U.S. say they will likely call it quits and cease production when the credit ends.

The largest biodiesel refinery, located in Houston, Tex. has already shut down. Another large refinery, located in Hoquiam, Wash. has been shut down as well, following a December explosion.