52 Congressmen ask White House to boost biodiesel under RFS

July 2, 2014

Expressing urgent concerns about a proposed cut, 52 US representatives from across the country called on President Obama to continue growing biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“During your time in office you have supported the development and growth of the biodiesel industry,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Obama. “Now, biodiesel producers around the nation have the ability to generate nearly two billion gallons a year of the only EPA-approved advanced biofuel, which is commercially available across the United States. Therefore, we believe now is not the time for a critical shift in biodiesel policy. We urgently ask that you raise biodiesel’s RVO for 2014 above 1.28 billion gallons.”

The request was led by Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). The lawmakers signing the letter represent 22 states.

In a draft RFS rule released in November 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed holding biodiesel volumes at 1.28 billion gallons--a sharp drop from last year’s actual production of nearly 1.8 billion gallons. Biodiesel producers around the country have warned that such a proposal will cause severe contraction in the industry. A nationwide survey of producers conducted by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in April found that more than half have already idled a plant this year and 78% have reduced production from last year. Nearly two-thirds–66%–have already laid off employees or anticipate doing so.

“Biodiesel is the most successful EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel being produced today,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice-president of federal affairs. “This is an RFS success story that is delivering tremendous benefits to the nation in terms of cleaner air, jobs, and diversity in the fuels markets that is helping consumers. We need consistent federal policy to continue the progress we’ve made, and we are urging the Administration to finalize a strong RFS volume as quickly as possible.”