Congress must put Americans back to work immediately by retroactively reinstating the expired biodiesel tax incentive, said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

The industry is barely operating and at risk of total collapse without it, he warned.

“Congress and the (Obama) administration have said they are dedicated to a ‘jobs’ agenda — their first step should be to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive,” Jobe told energy leaders at the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Institute national conference in Las Vegas.

Jobe explained that the biodiesel tax credit, in just five short years since its enactment, has resulted in the construction of over 150 renewable refineries in 44 states, 23,000 jobs, billions of dollars of net tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury, and the displacement of billions of gallons of petroleum. Congress allowed the biodiesel tax credit to lapse last Dec. 31, along with all other expiring tax provisions.

Jobe also pointed out the critical environmental benefits of biodiesel that could be lost if the tax incentive is not reinstated immediately.

The biodiesel tax credit has bipartisan support and has passed both Houses of Congress in a broader “tax extenders package.” Congress need only reconcile the two versions of this package and send it to the president for signature.

“Further inaction by Congress to complete this common sense policy is causing the loss of jobs every day, derailing America’s investment in its first successful advanced biofuel and it’s simply unacceptable,” Jobe said.