The National Biodiesel Board went beyond the Environmental Protection Agency's final rule establishing U.S. renewable fuel requirements for 2012 and called on the Obama administration to act quickly in completing a 2013 rule that maintains the EPA's recommended volume increases for Biomass-based Diesel. The 2012 rule raises the Biomass-based Diesel program to 1 billion gallons, up from 800 million gallons this year.
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at NBB says that this industry has shown without a doubt that it can meet and exceed the goals of this program in a sustainable way, with a diverse mix of feedstocks.
"Our industry has plants in nearly every state in the country that are hiring new employees and ramping up production," Steckel said. "That is in part because of the demand that this policy creates."
A recent economic study on biodiesel found that domestic production of 800 million gallons supports more than 31,225 jobs, generates income of nearly $1.7 billion to be circulated throughout the economy, and creates more than $3 billion in Gross Domestic Product. At 1.28 billion gallons of production, the EPA's initial proposal for 2013, the industry would support 50,725 jobs, generate $2.7 billion in income, and create nearly $5 billion in GDP.
Biodiesel makes up the vast majority of the Biomass-based Diesel program under the RFS. Because it also qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the program, with greenhouse gas emission reductions of 57% to 86%, biodiesel is also eligible to help meet general advanced biofuels requirements under the program.
According to the latest EPA figures, the biodiesel industry had produced some 908 million gallons through the end of November, exceeding the 2011 requirement with one month of production remaining. EPA has postponed finalizing the 2013 volume, saying it needs more time for review public comments.