ASA: New EPA Rules Undermine Biodiesel Industry

John Davis

uscapitolMembers of the American Soybean Association (ASA) were back on Capitol Hill… this time testifying before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Regulations, Healthcare and Trade that the new proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules are undermining investor confidence in the biodiesel industry.

Biodiesel Magazine reports that the ASA complained the EPA rules, which excludes soy-based biodiesel from the fuels counted under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), will hurt small biofuels producers and family farmers:

At the top of ASA’s list of regulatory policy concerns is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for implementation of the expanded RFS2. This Proposed Rule, released on May 5, includes several very obvious and immediate flaws and concerns.

asa_logo11“The proposed rule as released contains unprecedented, untested and far-reaching indirect land use assumptions and projections which will adversely impact markets for U.S. farmers and impede our national efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil and thus impede efforts to improve our environmental footprint,” said ASA Vice President Ray Gaesser, a soybean producer from Corning, Iowa. “We are concerned that EPA has attributed an undue degree of land use causation to U.S. biofuels production and that EPA’s assumptions do not adequately consider the other market factors (population growth, food and feed demand, timber prices, etc.) that have historically driven international land use decisions.”

“We are also very concerned with the potential under the EPA Proposed Rule to require renewable fuel manufactures to prove that their feedstocks meet the definition of renewable biomass,” Gaesser said. “The Energy Independence and Security Act included a prescriptive definition of renewable biomass and the EPA Proposed Rule would limit eligibility to biofuels produced only from feedstocks grown on existing cropland. This requirement could result in the need to provide feedstock certification. Such feedstock certification would be onerous and unworkable.”

You can read all of ASA’s testimony here.