Nearly 120 biodiesel companies and affiliated businesses are calling on President Obama to stand behind his past support of their industry. This news release from the National Biodiesel Board says the group sent the White House a letter outlining the extensive damage that would result from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal, which would set a biodiesel standard of 1.28 billion gallons – far below actual 2013 production of nearly 1.8 billion gallons.
“As entrepreneurs and business leaders representing thousands of employees, we have followed signals from this Administration and invested billions of dollars in developing a U.S. biodiesel industry that has successfully delivered more than 5 billion gallons of EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel under the RFS since you took office,” the letter states. “We are extremely concerned that you could be retreating on your previously unwavering support for biodiesel in a way that would have severe consequences for the industry’s future.”
The companies and other organizations signing the letter represent thousands of employees in states across the country, from California to Minnesota to Rhode Island. They specifically referenced legislation introduced by then-Sen. Obama in 2006 (“The American Fuels Act”) that called for an ambitious standard of 2 billion gallons of alternative diesel fuels by 2015.
“Thanks to American innovation, the hard work of our employees, and strong, consistent federal policy under the RFS, the biodiesel industry almost reached that goal last year by producing nearly 1.8 billion gallons under the RFS. With stable policy, it is very likely that the industry will – a mere decade later – indeed reach your stated goal of 2 billion gallons by 2015,” the letter states. “This is a success story of which you and your Administration should be proud: A clean, renewable energy industry meeting a challenging goal that you envisioned 10 years ago. Yet with this EPA proposal, this Administration is retreating. We urge you not to.”
This latest letter adds to the growing chorus of dissatisfaction with the Administration’s stance of lowering RFS amounts, as shown by a group of Democratic senators, who are normally big proponents of Obama, recently blasting him for the EPA’s proposal.