American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser on Tuesday urged the Environmental Protection Agency to amend proposed 2014 and 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements for biomass-based diesel
If left unchanged, Gaesser said, the proposed volumes would significantly damage the nation's growing biodiesel industry and adversely impact soybean growers. ASA suggested that EPA instead adjust the requirements to be consistent with production levels in 2013, which exceeded 1.7 billion gallons.
"As was demonstrated in 2013, the U.S. biodiesel industry can produce volumes greater than 1.28 billion gallons without significant cost or disruption to the economy," said Gaesser. "There are over 2 billion gallons of U.S. biodiesel production capacity already built and operable and there is sufficient feedstock available to produce above the 1.28 billion gallons proposed by EPA."
Gaesser's comments emphasized that EPA's proposed biomass-based diesel and total Advanced Biofuels levels are low, and will stifle job creation and growth. The changes, he added, would "squander an opportunity for greater emissions reductions and energy diversity."
Gaesser also noted that the levels are inconsistent with the Obama Administration's support of renewable and advanced biofuels.
Gaesser noted that biodiesel provides numerous benefits for consumers and society as a whole, including support for jobs, displacing petroleum, reducing emissions, lowering soy meal costs for livestock producers and providing a market for over 5 billion pounds of soy oil, much of which was displaced from food markets due to trans fat issues.
"There will be both direct and indirect employment benefits in rural areas due to increased biodiesel production," Gaesser wrote.
According to ASA, biodiesel, including biodiesel produced from soybean oil, is the most prevalent advanced biofuel currently produced in the United States. The industry has met or exceeded the RFS biomass-based diesel volume requirements every year they have been in place.