2010 Scorecard Vote
A tax credit for biodiesel was created in 2004 as part of the JOBS Act, which provided $1.00 to the fuel blenders for each gallon of biodiesel blended into petroleum diesel. The credit expired at the end of 2009. Since the creation of this tax credit, the environmental benefit of biodiesel has been called into question as expanded soybean and other biodiesel feedstock production has contributed to the destruction of natural ecosystems and increased agricultural inputs. The credit is considered a driver of biodiesel production in the United States, resulting in environmental damage worldwide. For example, biodiesel produced from soybeans in the United States results in a significant amount of land use change internationally, and expanded soybean production is a primary factor in the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.
Multiple proposals were introduced throughout 2010 to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax credit. On September 16, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced a motion to suspend the rules in order to consider an amendment to H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs Act, that would retroactively extend the biodiesel tax credit.
The motion was defeated by a vote of 4158 (Senate roll call vote 234), which prevented Senator Grassley from offering the amendment to extend the tax credit for biodiesel. No is the pro environment vote. The tax credit for biodiesel was ultimately extended in December in H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 18.