WASHINGTON - The U.S. biodiesel industry commended the Obama Administration Friday for supporting strong domestic energy policy by responsibly increasing the biodiesel volume requirement for next year under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"This was an incredibly important decision, and the Obama Administration got it right," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, the industry trade association. "It will allow biodiesel plants across the country to invest and expand, creating thousands of jobs. At the same time, it sends a strong signal that the U.S. is standing firm behind its commitment to producing clean, American-made energy to strengthen our energy security and break our dependence on petroleum."
The EPA's decision Friday finalizes the agency's draft proposal to increase the 2013 volume requirement for biomass-based diesel under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons. This represents a modest increase from the industry's record production last year of nearly 1.1 billion gallons and puts the industry on course for steady, sustainable growth in the coming years. According to a recent economic study, the 2013 volume increase will support more than 10,000 new jobs. Already, the industry supports more than 39,000 jobs, with plants in nearly every state in the country.
"We applaud President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for supporting an 'all of the above' energy approach. We also want to thank Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for his strong advocacy," Jobe added. "This decision will continue to diversify our fuel supplies so that we're not so vulnerable to global petroleum markets and this endless cycle of price spikes. The Renewable Fuel Standard is clearly working to do that, and the benefits of doing so are clear: We'll continue to create good jobs, expand our economy and reduce harmful emissions. It's just smart energy policy."
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel being produced on a commercial scale across the country - meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. (The EPA estimates that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent.)
Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country and last year supported more than 39,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in GDP, according to a recent study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm. The 4.6 billion gallons of biodiesel produced in the U.S. since 2005 have displaced an equivalent amount of diesel fuel and reduced lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 56.2 billion pounds, the equivalent of removing 4.96 million passenger vehicles from America's roadways.
# # #
For more details on biodiesel's benefits, visit biodiesel.org.