American Biogas Council praises Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act

The American Biogas Council (ABC), the trade association for the US biogas industry, has welcomed the recent introduction of the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act, House companion legislation to Senate Bill 988.

Introduced in early May, the Act will increase agricultural viability by helping to deploy nutrient recovery and biogas systems that recycle organic material into baseload renewable energy and healthy soil products. The Act provides a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for qualifying biogas and nutrient recovery systems, according to a statement from ABC.

“For a healthy economy, we need healthy soils and clean waterways. Biogas and nutrient recovery systems help us achieve cleaner, healthier soil and water and the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act will increase the deployment of these systems," said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council. "We thank Congressmen Ron Reed, Tom Kind and the other co-sponsors of this bill for recognizing the far reaching benefits of sustainable farming where organic material and nutrients should be recycled to create beneficial soil products, baseload renewable energy and jobs."

ABC says that the introduction of the new act and the bipartisan support it has received reflects the ‘critical’ need to support economically and environmentally viable agricultural practices that protect waterways and enrich soils. At present there are no tax incentives to encourage biogas or nutrient recovery systems, a previous tax credit having expired in 2016. ABC claims that the new incentive would promote the production of pipeline quality natural gas and compressed renewable natural gas vehicle fuel, alongside nutrients that are essential to agricultural production.

"By creating incentives to make biogas and manure resource recovery technologies more affordable the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act will encourage more widespread use of manure digesters. This benefits society by decreasing nutrient runoff in waterways, decreasing farm odours, and improving water quality," said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. 

Dr Matt Carr, executive director of the Algae Biomass Organisation, voiced his organisation’s support for the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act. "By supporting investments in algae-based and other nutrient management systems, the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act will help farmers recycle valuable ag nutrients back into their operations and reduce the burden on taxpayers of recovering those nutrients downstream. It's a win-win for everyone."

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