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Killing American jobs

By Staff | May 14, 2010

Every day for the past week on the news, my family has watched TV reporters attempt to communicate to the world exactly how many barrels of oil are leaking into waters off the Louisiana shore with no end in sight. Sadly, we can’t do a thing about it except pray and watch in complete disgust. The full extent of this massive oil spill cannot be calculated, and the black monster lurking in the water will affect the gulf coast for many years to come.

Having said that, it has been 126 days since the U.S. House and Senate allowed the biodiesel blender’s tax credit to expire on Dec.31, 2009. By not acting on this “good for America” tax credit, the people we voted into Congress have idled the biodiesel industry and are, in essence, killing thousands of good paying jobs right here in our back yards.

Instead of renewing a tax credit that supports the 234 owners who invested $14 million creating Maple River Energy’s biodiesel plant in Galva, Congress single handedly allowed the $1 per gallon federal tax break to lapse and renewal has been tied up in Washington’s jobs and health care legislation.

The clock is ticking while the hopes and dreams of Maple River Energy’s investors, directors, management team, and employees are being shattered.

Industry wide, production has stopped, biodiesel companies are going bankrupt, employees are being laid off, and our dependence on foreign oil is growing again which is unfortunate. Oil is the very substance that is polluting the Louisiana gulf coast region in case you haven’t turned on your TV, picked up a newspaper, thumbed through a magazine, or surfed the Internet for breaking news.

The President and Congress have spent thousands of man hours and billions of taxpayer dollars scheming up ways to finance jobs that will never materialize and to bail out companies that will never repay their debt to society. They continue to ignore important federal policies that support actual jobs in the renewable fuels industry. Biodiesel and ethanol jobs make a difference in Galva each and every day.

While the cameras are rolling, the President and Congress keep stating that they want the economy to recover and grow. At the end of the day, if this is really true, these government officials must act quickly to reinstate support for biodiesel before the Memorial Day recess.

They must vote “yes” to do something to help your dad, uncle, brother, or a friend who works at Maple River Energy because their wives and kids are depending on them.

Biodiesel is here and now, and it is not some pie-in-the-sky idea that needs another 20 years to develop. I urge you to contact senators and congressmen listed below and tell them to pass the blender’s credit today. Iowa’s livelihood depends on it.

Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) at (202) 224-3254; Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) at (202) 224-3744; and Rep. Steve King (R-5th Dist.) at (202) 225-4426.

Delayne D. Johnson

General manager

Maple River Energy LLC


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