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Diamond Diesel Service, Inc., Auto Repair & Service - Diesel, Oakland, CA

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Back To Diesel Products> Bio diesel Refiners Wait on Tax Credits

(GALVA, IA) - Hundreds of Iowa jobs remain in jeopardy as area bio diesel plants wait for help from Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, it was so quiet inside Maple River Energy's plant near Galva, IA that you could actually hear birds chirping. "Right now there's just four people here and we're doing general maintenance," said day shift lead supervisor Keith Carter. He's doing maintenance on machines sitting still since January 8th. Those machines are capable of refining 12,000 gallons each day.

With dwindling cash reserves, manager Delayne Johnson had no choice but to temporarily lay off two thirds of his staff last week. The team was just hitting its stride after starting to refine bio diesel last summer. The $1 per gallon tax credit expired in January, and since then Maple River has lost approximately $10,000 each day. "It's very frustrating because we've got this nice asset that we just put in place. When we had talked to legislative people prior to building the facility they said it's an annual thing, but you can count on it," said Johnson.

Congress has spent months debating the bill now in reconciliation, as Iowa's 14 bio diesel plants struggle for cash. "We really need that in order to compete on a level playing field. The oil industry receives subsidies and credits for drilling activities," said Johnson.

Carter wonders how long his coworkers can wait for work to return, knowing the have families to support. "It's hard to replace all the talent they have and all the skills that they know," he said, noting it would take months to train a crop of new employees. He hopes a quickly-renewed tax credit could keep that from happening, and replace the birds' chirping with a roar of machines.

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