BIO calls for legislation to boost biomanufacturing

Innovative companies using biotechnology to make renewable raw materials can enable more sustainable, climate-friendly manufacturing while providing an additional source of income for farmers. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is seeking to support these companies with a proposal for legislation to facilitate market entry and help grow their technology.

“Biomanufacturing can make a huge difference in our efforts to reduce the human impact on climate, but innovative new biomaterials must be produced at scale to be commercially viable,” said John Torres BIO’s Director of Federal Government Relations for Agriculture & Environment. “We’d like to see policy that encourages such production.”

BIO wants to see legislation under which producers who make renewable materials from biomass or captured carbon, and those who invest in that production, would receive tax credits. BIO is developing concepts for this legislation in collaboration with the National Corn Growers Association.

Such legislation would work to expand the benefits offered by an existing proposal, H.R. 6532, Renewable Chemicals Act of 2023.

“While we applaud that bill, we’d like to take it a step further, to make sure we are being inclusive of all potential feedstocks that can go into manufacturing biobased products and renewable chemicals,” Torres explained.

Torres co-presented these concepts during a March 14 panel at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference.

BIO’s suggestions for biomanufacturing tax credits

Concepts BIO would like to see incorporated in the legislation include:

  • A production tax credit. Producers using biomass or captured carbon dioxide would be eligible for a tax credit if they are making a material that meets certain qualifications, including having a certain percentage of carbon content.
  • An investment tax credit. Investors supporting the production of qualified renewable materials by investing in facilities where the material is produced could take advantage of a tax credit on a portion of their business income.

Various restrictions would apply:

  • These tax credits would be for biomaterials would be for biomanufacturing goods but not for making biofuels.
  • The production would have to take place in the United States, and the biomass used for production would have to be U.S. sourced.

“The goal of this legislation would be to jumpstart biomanufacturing in the U.S. We know that biomanufacturing can produce valuable economic and environmental benefits, and we want to make sure that the U.S. does not fall behind in developing and applying biomanufacturing technologies,” said Torres. “We look forward to working with Congress to create, and pass, this legislation.”

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