STATEMENT: Iowa soybean farmers, biodiesel producers welcome long-awaited RFS proposal
December 7, 2021
Advanced biofuels growth is positive, but concerns remain over retroactive reductions
(ANKENY, Iowa) – The Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board welcomed announcements impacting biofuels from Washington, D.C. today. The Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard rule, which would boost 2022 advanced biofuels volumes while reinstating inappropriately waived volumes from previous years. The USDA also announced COVID relief for biofuel producers, as well as funds for the Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program.
ISA President Robb Ewoldt, a soybean farmer from Davenport, said:
“Iowa soybean farmers welcome the EPA’s announcement to improve 2022 biofuel volumes and expand biofuel infrastructure. These decisions not only send a clear message to growers, but further demonstrates the important role homegrown energy plays in expanding rural vitality and meeting carbon emission goals outlined by the Biden Administration.
“While farmers remain optimistic in light of these biofuel investments, the agency should not ignore the reservations made by growers caused by volume delays in recent years. Producers will continue to urge the EPA to make timely announcements outlining future plans and volume decisions to ensure confidence in the RFS program moving forward.”
Grant Kimberley, executive director of IBB and sr. director of market development at ISA, added:
“Overall, we are pleased with the EPA’s proposal, which provides growth for advanced biofuels like biodiesel in 2022. We are also optimistic this proposal will finally shut the door on the past abuse of small refinery exemptions, which came at the expense of the biofuels industry. On the downside, this proposal’s timing was badly delayed, putting our industry in a difficult position of uncertainty. We also have concerns that EPA is retroactively changing the volume requirements of 2020, and sincerely hope that this is a one-time situation. However, the COVID relief for biofuels producers from USDA is greatly appreciated and will hopefully help offset economic harm from the lost volumes. The additional infrastructure dollars for biofuels are also needed and welcomed.
“With climate change and carbon reduction stated as an urgent national priority, it is gratifying to see biodiesel recognized as part of the solution. Biodiesel is the best chance to reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions right now, rather than waiting decades, especially for heavy-duty trucks, likely among the last to decarbonize. Now is the time to fully realize the benefits biodiesel provides to our environment and economy, and our state stands ready to deliver.”
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Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. For more information on biodiesel, visit IowaBiodiesel.org. For more information on Iowa soybeans, visit iasoybeans.com.
Biodiesel photos available for media.