Grassley, biodiesel producers irked as energy plans are dropped from Senate jobs bill

The trade group calls the credits vital to the battered industry. Frohlich said the producers will seek to have the Senate add extension of the credits – which lapsed at the end of 2009 – to the current package or another measure soon.

“This really is an immediate need to this industry,” he said.

Extension of the credits is a top priority for Grassley, the Finance Committee’s top Republican. Iowa has over a dozen biodiesel plants, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Jill Kozeny, a spokeswoman for Grassley, said there is biodiesel production in 44 states overall. “They are losing jobs since the credit expired at the end of the year, and restoring the credit as quickly as possible is essential to saving these renewable energy jobs,” she said.

But with Reid’s decision, Grassley and other lawmakers will have to look to subsequent bills for their favored energy measures.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), for instance, is pushing to expand a tax credit program for manufacturing “clean” energy equipment that was launched in the 2009 stimulus law.

A spokeswoman for Reid said leadership plans to work in a “bipartisan manner” on measures such as tax extenders and extension of unemployment insurance after passage of the jobs plan.

“Furthermore we plan to pass additional job bills throughout the year – this is the start not the finish,” spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said in an email.