Soybean & Biodiesel Boards Dispel RFS-2 Misinfo

John Davis

USBNBB-logoThe biodiesel industry and the soybean checkoff have teamed up to try to dispel some of the misinformation being used that would basically disqualify soybean-based biodiesel, the bulk of the nation’s biodiesel, from the proposed federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS-2).

This United Soybean Board press release says the National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) Sustainability Analysis and Awareness project, funded in part by the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff, is building on the limited amount of information about biodiesel and Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC):

“It is necessary to use science-based research to help ensure people are well-informed and educated regarding soy biodiesel,” says Chuck Myers, USB Chairman and a soybean farmer from Lyons, Neb. “All Americans can benefit from soy biodiesel, not just soybean farmers. Soy biodiesel remains a critical part of our renewable energy solution this country badly needs.”

Since the soybean checkoff helped establish the biodiesel industry in the 90s, sales of the fuel have grown from two million gallons in the year 2000 to over 700 million in 2008. With the checkoff funding, NBB has put together a team of land use experts consisting of
economists, leaders in the field of life cycle analysis, commodity experts and environmental engineers to analyze the Environmental Protection Agency’s initial estimation of biodiesel Green House Gases (GHG) due to ILUC used in the RFS-2.

A few inaccuracies that have already been brought to the forefront include that the soybeans were not given a significant GHG credit for fixing nitrogen in soil and biodiesel production did not receive a GHG credit for the production of glycerin as a valuable co-product.

NBB also showed that the development of the RFS-2 did not account for the the value of 80 percent soy protein meal as a significant portion of the market value for the entire crop and did not allow for expected steep increases in soybean yield in coming years.

Biodiesel, NBB