The National Biodiesel Board today called for passage of the U.S. House’s version of the Farm Bill – H.R. 2419, the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 – especially the parts referring to biodiesel.
NBB officials say the energy title portion of the bill includes an expansion of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bioenergy Program and the Biodiesel Education Program. According to an NBB release, the CCC would support production of biodiesel and other bio-based renewable fuels using domestic feedstocks by providing subsidies to help biodiesel producers in this country offset rising feedstock costs. Those costs make up about 80 percent of their overall production expansions.
Funding for the Biodiesel Education Program increases from $5 million to $10 million over five years. NBB officials say the program has been a major reason why consumer awareness and support of biodiesel continues to rise:
“The NBB believes these energy initiatives are critical in continuing to make biodiesel an important part of a diverse energy portfolio,” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “As the bill moves forward, we will continue to work with our partners in Congress to ensure that necessary funding is provided for these programs, and that the Bioenergy Program is ultimately structured in a manner that will best help the U.S. biodiesel industry reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil.”
The biodiesel industry cranked out 250 million gallons of the green fuel in 2006 and is on track to produce 300 to 350 million gallons this year.