- The Washington Times - Monday, May 3, 2010


A sinking oil platform is leaking 42,000 gallons of oil per day into U.S. waters (“Massive oil spill reaches Louisiana shore,” Nation, Friday). President Obama has time and time again stated the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and has spent the past week touring renewable-energy facilities in the Midwest to highlight his commitment to renewable energy.

However, this public relations display is in sharp contrast to reality. Mr. Obama’s administration and the Democrat-controlled House and Senate allowed the biodiesel tax credit to expire as of Jan. 1, 2009, and therefore prepared the noose to kill 23,000 “green jobs” in the U.S. biodiesel industry.

The biodiesel tax credit helped ensure that alternative fuels could be priced competitively with heavily subsidized petroleum. Now that this credit has lapsed, domestic production of biodiesel has plummeted to nearly a standstill. As this letter is being written, biodiesel companies are going bankrupt, employees are losing their jobs, and our dependence on foreign oil is growing.

Biodiesel reduces our dependence on foreign oil. In 2008, the 690 million gallons of biodiesel produced in the United States displaced 38.1 million barrels of petroleum. In addition, biodiesel is an extremely efficient fuel that creates 3.2 units of energy for every unit of energy that is required to produce the fuel.

The biodiesel industry is making a positive contribution to the economy and is good for the environment. Last year alone, the U.S. biodiesel industry supported 51,893 jobs in all sectors of the economy and added $4.287 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product. In 2008 alone, biodiesel’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions was the equivalent of removing 980,000 passenger vehicles from America’s roadways.

The president and Congress have spent countless hours and billions of dollars scheming on potential green jobs that largely have yet to materialize - while ignoring important federal policy that supports actual green jobs. They say they want to see economic recovery. If that is the case, they must act quickly to reinstate support for biodiesel.


Chesapeake Green Fuels LLC

Adamstown, Md.

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