According to statistics provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) biodiesel production in the U.S. broke the 1 billion mark for the second consecutive year. The total volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons was roughly flat over 2011 production, exceeding it by just 6 million gallons.
“These numbers reflect the ongoing growth and development of our industry and represent real jobs at plants across the country,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).”Biodiesel continues to account for the vast majority of the nation’s Advanced Biofuel production and is playing a significant role in diversifying our energy supplies with clean, American-made fuel.”
According to EPA numbers. production for the month of December totaled just 59 million gallons, the lowest monthly volume of the year. The December total marked the close of a year-end slump in which biodiesel production dropped significantly as Congress failed to renew the biodiesel tax incentive. However, with the new year brought the $1-per-gallon incentive renewal as part of the “fiscal cliff” legislation.
“It’s difficult not to wonder how much additional production and jobs could have been created if the biodiesel tax incentive had remained in place in 2012,” Steckel said. “It was a missed opportunity that significantly hurt many producers. But we are pleased that Congress reinstated the tax credit earlier this month and we expect significant growth in 2013.”
EPA’s reports biodiesel production as part of its Biomass-based Diesel category in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA numbers show a total of just over 62 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel for the month of December, but that figure includes several million gallons of renewable diesel production.