In a bipartisan effort to create American jobs in the growing biotech industries, Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) introduced the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2012, H.R. 4953. The legislation would encourage job creation in the growing biotech sector by providing tax incentives for biotechnology companies that make their products from renewable sources including switch grass, non-harvested wheat, soybeans, and algae.
"With this bill, we have the opportunity to help foster job creation in new and innovative industries like renewable biochemicals. I believe these companies can manufacture the next generation of exports that can drive economic growth and job creation, which has got to be our top priority," said Pascrell, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
"American biochemical companies want to make it in America. Through the tax incentives in this bill, we will help foster the private capital investments that will make the United States a more economically viable alternative for biochemical firms. At the same time, we will be investing in America's economic future by creating good jobs in manufacturing and research and development, and we will be helping to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy while increasing our ability to export."
"With the price of gas continuing to consume more and more of a family's income, we must remain serious about investing in alternative sources of fuel as part of our national energy strategy," stated Bilbray, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Bilbray continued by saying that "By extending the tax credit, we are both incentivizing innovation and following through on the promise of a domestic renewable fuel source. The benefits of which are good for the environment, curbing our dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs."
The Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2012 would create a tax credit for the production of chemicals from renewable biological based feedstock, such as corn, non-harvested wheat, soybeans, and algae.
Building the biobased economy will generate additional jobs in manufacturing, agricultural production and forestry, transportation and distribution, and construction. Today, nearly 2,000 companies in the United States either manufacture or distribute nearly 20,000 biobased products.
The biobased products industry creates a minimum of 100,000 jobs annually, according to an Iowa State CIRAS voluntary survey. This represents tremendous growth since a 2007 U.S. International Trade Commission study counted 5,700 U.S. workers at 159 facilities.
A 2010 report by the Biotechnology Industry Organization projected that the renewable chemical industry has created or saved 40,000 jobs. Biorefineries that process sustainable biomass can produce 700,000 jobs and $88.5 billion in economic activity, primarily in rural areas where economic development is greatly needed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Because biotechnology enables solutions to a broader range of energy challenges, building the biobased economy is the key to reducing reliance on foreign oil. While less than 20 percent of the volume of each barrel of oil, the chemicals and other products represent about half the value. Renewable chemicals and biobased products can already compete on cost with fossil fuels.