Last week's passage of the $700+ billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 had several last-minute additions tacked on to it, including several renewable-energy measures.
Among the provisions the bail-out plan extends the wind-energy production tax credit for one year, through Dec. 31, 2009; the biodiesel tax credit through 2009; and the alternative-fueling credit for ethanol blended gasoline (E-85) infrastructure, through 2010.
However, it worked against a strategic alliance between Tyson Foods and ConocoPhillips that converts animal fat into diesel fuel. The bail-out bill cut the federal tax credit to 50 cents per gallon from the current $1-per-gallon for companies that use animal fat to make renewable diesel fuel. "Without the current $1-per-gallon credit it is unlikely this venture will remain economically viable," says Gary Mickelson, Tyson spokesperson.
The two companies started producing the fuel in December 2007. Beef tallow from Tyson's beef processing plant Amarillo, Texas, is sent to the ConocoPhillips refinery in nearby Borger, Texas, reports Meatingplace.com. There it is converted into renewable diesel and is producing 300 to 500 barrels per day.