Iowa Biodiesel Board Makes Case for More Biodiesel with EPA
September 1, 2017
(ANKENY, Iowa) – The Iowa Biodiesel Board made its case to the Environmental Protection Agency to increase future biodiesel volumes rather than stalling them under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program. The organization submitted written comments Aug. 31 to EPA.
The IBB asked EPA to increase the volumes in the Final Rule to a biomass-based diesel volume that is at least 2.5 billion gallons in 2019, and to set advanced biofuel volumes of at least 4.75 billion gallons for 2018. An excerpt of the comments is as follows:
“On the promise of a brighter future, in the last couple of years, the Iowa biodiesel industry has increased its capacity by more than 20 percent. Our members say there are many more such projects ready and waiting to go forward that would create even more jobs. Unfortunately, most of those are currently on hold until more certainty in the marketplace is received through year-over-year growth of the RFS volume targets. The U.S. can meet production demand and has substantial room for growth, which EPA’s proposal does not acknowledge.
“We believe the agency should be more aggressive in meeting Congress’s goals to move this country toward advanced biofuels. This would create more jobs, improve the economy, and benefit public health and the environment throughout the country. Of course, we also strongly oppose any efforts to further reduce the volumes, which would be devastating to our industry and to all the U.S agriculture sector.
“Anything but strong growth in RFS volumes of biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel will make it harder for U.S. biodiesel producers to compete in their own country. Imports already receive unfair advantages, and a shrinking RFS means even less opportunity for domestic producers.
The biodiesel industry has raised concerns over these tax and trade issues, and some of those issues are being addressed, but the existence of biodiesel imports is not a reflection of our domestic industry’s production capabilities. On the contrary, we’re operating below capacity, and we have surplus supplies of agriculture feedstock available for use. U.S. agriculture has seen commodity price decreases of nearly 60 percent in some sectors over the last four years. The uncertainty of the RFS volumes and the minor increases have contributed to the downturn in the agriculture economy.”
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