American Biogas Council praises introduction of the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act
October 9, 2019 by Manure Manager
The American Biogas Council (ABC), the trade association for the U.S. biogas industry, praised the introduction of Senate companion legislation to the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
The legislation will increase agricultural viability by deploying new nutrient recovery and biogas systems that recycle organic material into baseload renewable energy and healthy soil products. The bill establishes a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) for qualifying biogas and nutrient recovery systems, catalyzing investment in biogas systems and nutrient recovery technologies which will create new jobs, promote sustainable farm practices, and protect our air, water and soil. The House companion bill, H.R. 3744, was introduced in July.
“The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act boosts the sustainability of rural economies by encouraging smart technologies that recycle organic material, like manure, into renewable energy and returning nutrients to the soils that need them. When biogas systems recycle manure and nutrients, we have cleaner waterways, healthier soil and new commodities to sell which replace fossil fuels,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council. “We salute Senators Brown and Roberts for their continued leadership in sustainable agriculture.”
The introduction of the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act reflects the critical need to support agricultural practices that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. No tax incentive exists to incentivize biogas or nutrient recovery systems. A production tax credit under Section 45 of the federal tax code, which used to encourage the production of renewable electricity, has expired. This new ITC would promote the production of biogas when used as renewable natural gas in vehicles and renewable heat, while also supporting nutrient recycling vital to agricultural productivity and reducing emissions from the fossil fuels used to produce synthetic fertilizers.