Growth Energy and its members are pleased to see that the President and the Environmental Protection Agency have recognized the need to move the renewable fuel industry past the so-called blend wall for the sake of America’s climate, energy security and rural economy. While this rule still relies on a flawed methodology that sets renewable fuel volumes below the statutory levels enacted by Congress, it is an important improvement from the proposed rule, and moves us closer to getting America’s most effective climate policy back on track and providing certainty for biofuels in the marketplace.
The National Biodiesel Board applauded the Obama administration Monday for raising biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“This decision means we will displace billions of gallons of petroleum diesel in the coming years with clean-burning biodiesel. That means less pollution, more American jobs, and more competition that is sorely lacking in the fuels market,” said NBB CEO Joe Jobe. “It is a good rule. It may not be all we had hoped for but it will go a long way toward getting the U.S. biodiesel industry growing again and reducing our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels.”
“I want to thank President Obama, Administrator McCarthy and Secretary Vilsack for supporting growth in the program and for their commitment to biodiesel,” Jobe added. “We have seen three years of damaging delays, but the Administration took a strong step forward today that should put biodiesel and the RFS on a more stable course in the years to come.”
Made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement used in existing diesel engines. According to the EPA, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel, qualifying it as an Advanced Biofuel under the RFS.
Under the new RFS rule, Biomass-based Diesel volumes would grow to 1.9 billion gallons in 2016 and 2 billion gallons in 2017. The Biomass-based Diesel category – a diesel subset of the overall Advanced Biofuel category – is made up mostly of biodiesel but also includes renewable diesel, another diesel alternative made from the same feedstocks using a different technology.
The new standards reflect modest but meaningful growth over recent years when the U.S. market has hovered around 1.8 billion gallons annually.
Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, issued a statement in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of the renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“America’s corn farmers are proud to grow a cleaner burning, renewable fuel source for America and the world. In July, we asked the Environmental Protection Agency to restore the 2014-16 corn ethanol renewable volume obligation to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard as passed by Congress and signed into law. While we are pleased to see the EPA take a step forward and revise its original proposal, the fact remains that any reduction in the statutory amount will have a negative impact on our economy, our energy security, and the environment. It is unfortunate that Big Oil’s campaign of misinformation continues to carry weight in the court of public opinion, and in this decision. The Renewable Fuel Standard has been one of America’s most successful energy policies ever. Because of it, our economy is stronger, we are more energy independent, and our air is cleaner. We should be strengthening our commitment to renewable fuels, not backing down.
“In light of the EPA’s decision, we are evaluating our options. We will fight to protect the rights of farmers and consumers and hold the EPA accountable.”