WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 - The strongest drivers of the increase in U.S. biomass-based diesel demand since 2012 have been increasing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and the biodiesel tax credit, which has lapsed and been reinstated several times, says the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

After reaching their highest level to date in 2013, U.S. imports of both biodiesel and renewable diesel fell in 2014 amid uncertainty surrounding future RFS targets and the elimination of the biodiesel blenders tax credit, EIA says.

As higher targets for biomass-based diesel were finalized in 2015, U.S. imports of biodiesel and renewable diesel increased by 61 percent in 2015 to reach 538 million gallons, says EIA.

“These numbers again demonstrate why we need to reform the biodiesel tax incentive to a domestic production credit,” says Anne Steckel, VP of federal affairs with the National Biodiesel Board.

“We are seeing hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel coming to the U.S. from places like Argentina and Indonesia,” says Steckel. “These imports are often receiving significant incentives at home and then getting another incentive when blended here in the U.S. That creates a tremendous competitive advantage for the imports, and it’s why we’re seeing the volumes grow so rapidly.”

The EIA says that of the 334 million gallons of biodiesel imported into the United States in 2015, more than half (183 million gallons) were from Argentina.

Steckel says that American biodiesel producers deserve a level playing field, and that U.S. energy policy should be aimed at incentivizing domestic production and jobs, not foreign fuel.  

“Changing this incentive to a domestic producers credit is a common-sense, cost-saving reform that Congress should pass today,” says Steckel.


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