Biodiesel Industry Hits Keep Coming

Cindy Zimmerman

At the same time the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual proposed Renewable Fuel Standard rule on Friday, the industry was hit with a court ruling that upholds the agency’s method for setting biomass-based diesel volumes in the 2017 RFS rules.

In comments on the RFS rule, NBB urged EPA to increase advanced biofuel volumes for 2020 and biomass-based diesel volumes for 2021 “to accommodate domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers’ proven ability to increase output” and said the agency must properly account for small refinery exemptions and the 500 million gallons of biofuel unlawfully waived in 2016.

In the court decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit also rejected refiners’ arguments that they are burdened by RIN prices and that EPA should change the point of obligation, as well as that the 2017 RFS volumes were set too high and that EPA should have used additional waiver authority.

The impact of small refinery exemptions (SREs) on the biodiesel industry was a topic of discussion at the Farm Progress Show last week. Illinois farmer Rob Shaffer, American Soybean Association (ASA) director and chair of the organization’s Biodiesel and Infrastructure Committee, brought up the issue during a listening session with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. He also asked about the biodiesel tax credit, which is now lapsed 20 months ago, and got an answer from Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL-18).
Illinois farmer Rob Shaffer at FPS19 Ag Forum

Leaders of both NBB and ASA have requested a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss small refinery exemptions and the RFS but Shaffer said as of last week they had not heard back on that.

In this interview, Shaffer talks about how biodiesel producers have suffered the greatest impact from the administration’s small refinery exemptions and plants from Pennsylvania to Iowa to Georgia and Texas are closing as a result of demand destruction.
Interview with ASA director Rob Shaffer, Illinois

2019 Farm Progress Show photo album

ASA, Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, Farm Progress Show, NBB, RFS