Opinion: Biodiesel’s Biggest Foe? US Government

John Davis

KotrbaSo if you’re considering biodiesel opponents, you might think of the usual suspects led by Big Oil. But according to this piece by Ron Kotrba from Biodiesel Magazine, if you look at the history of the opposition, especially what has happened in the past week, the biggest roadblock to biodiesel could be the current U.S. government.

Then [Environmental Protection Agency]’s draft proposal was leaked in October, in which the agency proposed stalling the biomass-based diesel standard at 1.28 billion gallons and reducing the advanced biofuel target from the statutory requirement of 3.75 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons to 2.2 billion, and industry stakeholders wondered, could it be? Is this real? It didn’t make any sense. Some suggested the document was a fraud. Others suggested it was an old draft, perhaps not reflective of what EPA will actually propose. Others yet even speculated that EPA is intentionally attempting to squeeze out the small producers to simplify RIN tracking and accounting.

When the actual proposal came out last Friday, and it mirrored what the leaked draft indicated, you could literally feel the frustration and angst pour out of producers. I contacted several plants and stakeholders, and some of the things that were relayed to me were not fit for print, expressions that were wholly legitimate and understandable, but expletive. For industry reaction to the proposal, read my story here.

Isn’t it ironic that Big Oil’s own George W. Bush signs into law the legislation that sparks tremendous biodiesel industry growth, and the administration of Barrack Obama, the man who leveraged biodiesel so many times in his 2008 campaign, is attempting to crush it through this proposed RVO rule for 2014?

Kotrba encourages biodiesel producers and their allies not to play the victim, but send comments packed with facts to the EPA expressing their displeasure with the proposal. He concludes that there’s no good reason for this “backslide on biodiesel policy” when billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs, as well as a cleaner, more secure energy future are at stake

It isn’t right, and none of us should stand for it.

Biodiesel, Government, Opinion