Fifty-four members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are calling on the Obama Administration to reverse course on its proposal to cut the amount of biodiesel to be required to be blended into the Nation’s fuel supply. This news release from the National Biodiesel Board says the call comes as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed biodiesel production under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014 and 2015 to be 1.28 billion gallons, despite the fact the green fuel’s numbers are expected to hit 1.7 billion gallons this year.
In a letter led by U.S. Reps. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, and Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., the U.S. representatives – a bipartisan group representing districts from California to Iowa to Florida – called on the Administration to establish an RFS volume that is at least consistent with this year’s anticipated production of 1.7 billion gallons. The letter … was sent to the EPA and other Administration officials.
“It is clear that biodiesel has been a great RFS success story. It has exceeded RFS targets in each year and is clearly poised to do so again in 2013,” the lawmakers wrote. “This type of reduction could have very damaging repercussions. It could result in dozens of biodiesel facilities shutting down permanently and ceasing production.”
“We would strongly urge you to continue your support for this developing and fragile industry with a reasonable increase in the RFS volume requirement for 2014 and responsible growth in the future,” the letter states.
This comes on the heels of a similar letter last month sent by 32 U.S. senators, and it comes with similar warnings of dire consequences:
“The recent proposal by the EPA was an unnecessary and unwise setback to an industry that continues to surpass expectations and supports 62,200 jobs and nearly $17 billion in total economic impact,” Rep. Latham said. “The repercussions of such a short-sighted proposal could be devastating to the biodiesel industry; the many men and women it employees; and to necessary future investment.”
Rep. McIntyre said, “We have made great strides toward reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil while diversifying the feedstocks we use to produce renewables, particularly in the biodiesel industry. The EPA must take into account the current production of biodiesel fuels before altering the volume requirements for the upcoming years. We are calling upon the administration to set the RFS volume at a common-sense level so that we save jobs and create a sustainable energy future for the next generation.”
NBB officials say the letters represent “a growing consensus that the EPA got it wrong on biodiesel in this proposal.”