‘Hanging by its fingernails’: U.S. biodiesel industry struggles without subsidy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When John Whittington shut his Morristown, Indiana, biodiesel plant this week, he knew the move would leave all 14 of his workers there looking for jobs heading into the U.S. holiday season. But he felt he had no choice. FILE PHOTO: A fuel nozzle from a bio diesel fuel pump is…

‘Hanging by its fingernails’: U.S. biodiesel industry struggles without subsidy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When John Whittington shut his Morristown, Indiana, biodiesel plant this week, he knew the move would leave all 14 of his workers there looking for jobs heading into the U.S. holiday season. But he felt he had no choice. FILE PHOTO: A fuel nozzle from a bio diesel fuel pump is seen in this photo illustration taken at a filling station in San Diego, California January 8, 2015. Picture taken January 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoA $1-per-gallon subsidy that had been propping up the industry since 2005 lapsed at the beginning of 2018 due to Congressional inaction, and his hopes for a swift renewal had been declining along with his business ever since. “I didn’t (lay off my workers) because they failed,” Whittington, co-owner of Integrity Biofuels, said. “To me, the support systems of the industry have failed.” Integrity Biofuels’ shutdown marks the tenth biodiesel facility to have idled this year after the lapse in the biodiesel credit, putting about 250 people out of work, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). Nationwide production has decreased about 10% year-on-year, according to Energy Information Administration data. The biodiesel credit was part of a broad legislative effort more than a decade ago to help farmers and reduce petroleum imports by supporting biofuels. At a cost of n
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