AMES, IA - Biodiesel company Renewable Energy Group (REG) last week idled two of its production plants and laid off 22 workers, citing the lapse of the biodiesel tax credit, according to a report from Biodiesel Magazine

REG stopped production at its Ralston plant and newly acquired Newton plant, both located in Iowa. 

Since January, REG and its independent network plants have laid off 45 percent of the company's employees, Biodiesel Magazine reported. Company management said the layoffs were "a direct result of the tax credit lapse." Employees who have been retained have taken pay cuts. 

The U.S. Senate on March 10 passed the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, which included the biodiesel tax credit. But a companion bill still awaits action by the House Ways and Means Committee. Congress returns from its Easter break on April 12.