Iowa Biodiesel Board, Farmers Dismayed by EPA Proposal
July 5, 2019
(ANKENY, Iowa) –The Iowa Biodiesel Board today expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard and 2021 Biomass-based Diesel Volume.
Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association, issued the following statement:
“The EPA has shown its intent to take the U.S. fuel supply backwards, caving into petroleum interests at the expense of biodiesel, an all-American fuel, and hurting our heartland’s farmers.
“Since this RFS proposal holds biodiesel volumes flat while doing nothing to account for the high number of so-called ‘small’ refinery exemptions, EPA effectively intends to reduce market potential for biodiesel and renewable diesel compared to this year. This sends a shocking signal to our biodiesel producers that the Administration wants to unravel the RFS. It also undermines one of our country’s best opportunities to grow a low-carbon fuel supply while supporting American manufacturing jobs, many located in small-town Iowa.
“The Administration must understand that a feeble RFS also affects Americans beyond the biodiesel manufacturing industry itself. Farmers are already in one of their worst years in recent memory, with many trying to hold on to their family farms. This proposal is yet another blow to them when farm income is down by 50 percent compared to five years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Supporting their participation in the energy market through common sense policies like the RFS can soften this blow.
“Meanwhile, we stay in painful limbo on trade with China, the biodiesel tax credit remains expired, and the Commerce Department has relaxed duties on imports of Argentine biodiesel. We’re becoming fed up with the lack of commitment to this industry in Washington.
“With that said, I want to thank Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst for their continued leadership on this critical RFS policy, as well as Governor Kim Reynolds. Iowa is the national leader in renewable fuels production, and we have confidence that our Congressional delegation will continue to fight for smart energy policy that benefits American jobs, energy security and agriculture.”
The agency’s proposed advanced biofuel volume of 5.04 billion gallons provides no additional market growth for biomass-based diesel. Similarly, the proposal to set the 2021 biomass-based diesel volume at 2.43 billion gallons – the same as the 2020 volume – flatlines growth for the industry.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from diverse agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry. For more information on biodiesel, visit Iowabiodiesel.org.
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