The bill Congress approved Tuesday night providing tax relief for most taxpayers also helps wind energy and ethanol producers by extending tax credits designed to encourage continued development.
States like Texas, the nation's leading wind energy producer, and Iowa, the leading ethanol maker, should benefit from the incentives. Many of the credits had expired in 2012.
The bill extends to the end of the year a production tax credit for wind energy on any facility under construction before the end of 2013.
The bill also extends a $1.01-per-gallon tax credit for cellulosic ethanol made from corn plants, grasses, algae and sources other than corn kernels. The bill allows ethanol makers to depreciate equipment for new plants placed in service in 2013 and extends biodiesel production tax incentives for two years.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says the state's biodiesel plants produced 184 million gallons in 2012, up from the previous 2011 record of 169 million gallons.
IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says he expects more production in the new year after Congress reinstated the biodiesel tax incentive that had expired. He says that will be beneficial for jobs, the environment and energy security.
The group, which represents the state's liquid renewable fuels industry, says soybean oil accounted for more than 70 percent of production. Animal fats came in second at 18 percent. Canola oil, inedible corn oil and used cooking oil made up the remaining 10 percent.