WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 – Some 117 biodiesel companies and affiliated businesses are urging President Obama to support continued growth for their industry under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to the National Biodiesel Board.
In a letter, the companies reminded Obama of his past support for the industry going back to his days as a U.S. senator from Illinois and as a presidential candidate, and they outlined what they see as the extensive damage that would result from the EPA’s proposal for biofuel use in 2014. In a draft rule released in November, the agency set a biodiesel standard of 1.28 billion gallons, far below the actual 2013 production of 1.8 billion.
“As entrepreneurs and business leaders representing thousands of employees, we have followed signals from this administration and invested billions of dollars in developing a U.S. biodiesel industry that has successfully delivered more than 5 billion gallons of EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel under the RFS since you took office,” the letter states. “We are extremely concerned that you could be retreating on your previously unwavering support for biodiesel in a way that would have severe consequences for the industry’s future.”
The companies and other organizations signing the letter represent thousands of employees in 41 states. They specifically referenced legislation introduced by then-Sen. Obama in 2006 (“The American Fuels Act”) that called for an ambitious standard of 2 billion gallons of alternative diesel fuels by 2015, the Biodiesel Board said.
“Thanks to American innovation, the hard work of our employees, and strong, consistent federal policy under the RFS, the biodiesel industry almost reached that goal last year by producing nearly 1.8 billion gallons under the RFS. With stable policy, it is very likely that the industry will – a mere decade later – indeed reach your stated goal of 2 billion gallons by 2015,” the letter states. “This is a success story of which you and your Administration should be proud: A clean, renewable energy industry meeting a challenging goal that you envisioned 10 years ago. Yet with this EPA proposal, this Administration is retreating. We urge you not to.”
Biodiesel – made from a variety of resources including soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fats – is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide, the Biodiesel Board said. With plants in nearly every state in the country, the industry had a record U.S. market last year of nearly 1.8 billion gallons supporting more than 62,200 jobs.
The EPA plans to finalize its proposal for the RFS in June.
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