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Maine Governor green lights renewable chemicals tax credit

“It will attract investment to convert plants to products. Maine woodchips and sawdust will replace climate-killing oil and gas to produce the renewable ingredients demanded by the emerging bio-based economy.”

Maine Governor Janet Mills has approved a new tax credit to incentivise the production of chemicals and fuels made from renewable resources.

The US north-east state of Maine is well known for its forests and natural landscape.

Investment attracted by the tax credit (also called LD 1698) is projected to create or retain more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs in the US forest sector alone over the next 10 years, according to an analysis by trade body Biobased Maine.

“We’re excited to see Maine’s governor sign this competitive tax credit for renewable chemicals and products into law,” said Jamie Chittum, board president of Biobased Maine(@biobasedmaine), in a statement. “This legislation will accelerate the growth of Maine’s emerging bio-based industry, which manufactures climate-friendly products from sustainably sourced Maine biomass, and will bring jobs and economic prosperity back to Maine’s rural communities.”

Maine has become the third state in the US to enact a production tax credit for renewable chemicals, after Iowa and Minnesota, both of which promote corn to replace oil and gas. However, Maine’s tax credit is higher than those states at 8 cents per pound of renewable chemicals produced.

“The global economy of the 21st century has presented one of our most important heritage industries with new challenges and uncertainties,” said Assistant Majority Leader Ryan Fecteau (@RyanFecteau), who co-sponsored LD 1698.

“Mainers are resilient and resourceful. The communities hit hardest by a changing economy are looking to new opportunities—opportunities that have the potential to help us turn the corner and rebuild a more robust forest products industry. Among these opportunities, bio-based products made from Maine wood stands out as good for our economy, for rural communities, for the environment and for public health. LD 1698 becoming law will advance such innovation for years to come.”

Mike Cassata, co-founder of Biofine Developments Northeast, said: “This tax credit will allow Biofine to scale up our technology to bring our renewable, CO2 negative, cellulose-based home heating oil and chemicals to market, creating good jobs for Maine citizens and helping to reduce the carbon footprint of Maine’s economy.”

“This new law gives Maine a head start in the global race to slash the carbon footprint of everyday products,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Maine-based Environmental Health Strategy Center. “It will attract investment to convert plants to products. Maine woodchips and sawdust will replace climate-killing oil and gas to produce the renewable ingredients demanded by the emerging bio-based economy.”

“This law is about the state of Maine standing with hard-working Mainers and Maine businesses,” said Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Allagash), who co-sponsored the bill.

With the signing of LD 1698, Maine became the third state in the country to enact a production tax credit for renewable chemicals, after Iowa and Minnesota, both of which promote corn to replace oil and gas.

However, Maine’s tax credit is higher than those states at 8 cents per pound of renewable chemicals produced. And the climate benefit of Maine’s woody biomass as a raw material is up to three times greater than that from Midwestern corn.


If you interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the ones below.

Read: US will need a workforce with a variety of skills if it is to retain its ‘bioeconomy leader’ status, industry experts say.

Read: MTI awards $1.5M in challenge grants to two bio-based companies in Maine

Read: 5 minutes with… Charlotte Mace, Executive Director for Biobased Maine.

Read: Industry survey supports view that renewable chemicals are moving into the mainstream.

Read: UK political parties ramp up focus on climate change and single-use plastics in their manifestos.

Read:  Bio Market Insights introduces bioeconomy policy monitor page.

Read: Canada and Italy promote national bioeconomy strategies.

Read: Bio-based industry gives lukewarm response to UK’s first bio-economy strategy.

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