Iowa Biodiesel Companies Encouraged by Proposed RFS Growth, Ask for Halt to Waivers
June 26, 2018
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – As biodiesel producers and farmers from Iowa descend on Capitol Hill today to meet with Congressional leaders, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its proposal for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The proposed volumes include raising the biodiesel category from 2.1 billion gallons to 2.43 billion gallons, and also raising the Advanced Biofuel category. Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, issued the following statement:
“The EPA’s proposed increase in biodiesel volumes of the RFS is definitely a step in the right direction, and sends an encouraging signal to our state’s biodiesel producers and supporting industries. While we appreciate the long-awaited return to growth, we agree with the National Biodiesel Board and others who point out that EPA has granted dozens of small refinery ‘hardship exemptions,’ which has seriously undermined the RFS. Unfortunately these exemptions make this growth less impactful than it otherwise would be. According to NBB, the exemptions have effectively reduced current obligations for biodiesel by 100 million gallons in 2016 and at least 275 million gallons in 2017.
“Caught in the crosshairs of trade disputes and other market dynamics, farming income is at its lowest level in more than a decade as the oil industry has experienced record profits. However, combined with the halting of exemptions for the oil industry, this new proposed biodiesel growth would be meaningful to our industry and the agriculture economy it supports. Increased diversification of our nation’s energy supply is also positive for American jobs and domestic energy security as well as the farm economy. We urge President Trump to ensure his EPA administrator follows through on the president’s pledge to support biofuels and protect the RFS.”
Recent polling commissioned by the National Biodiesel Board shows a resounding 75 percent of Iowa voters think federal policy should encourage expanded use of biodiesel. Even more – 85 percent – said it is important to them that President Trump keep his promise to support the RFS.
A bipartisan Congress passed the RFS, signed into law by President George W. Bush. It requires the EPA to gradually grow the volume of biofuels like biodiesel in the nation’s fuel supply. Since taking office, President Trump’s EPA has recommended zero growth for the biomass-based diesel category.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from 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.