Biodiesel: An environmental winner

In May, the EPA is expected to send its final renewable volume obligations to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. American soy growers are continuing the push for significantly increased proposed volumes for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels.

Biomass-based diesel is a vital domestic market for soybean farmers. The RFS has reduced U.S. dependence on foreign oil, lowered fuel prices, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and added value by increasing demand for soybeans and corn. 

Along with Clean Fuels Alliance America and the American Soybean Association, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association implores the agency to increase RVOs to accurately reflect growth expected in the industry. The final rule is expected to be released June 14. If finalized without any changes from the draft rule, the proposed RVOs for biomass-based diesel would not only represent a missed opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also result in a negative economic impact for many farmers and rural communities.

Aside from economic benefits, the biodiesel industry helps protect the environment. Studies show that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% and displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in Minnesota each year. Using a B20 blend in the summer and a B5 blend in the winter equates to removing the emissions from nearly a quarter-million vehicles from state roads every year.

The RFS is a crucial tool that creates a stable and important marketplace for biomass-based fuels and is a primary signal for our industry’s growth — or stagnation. Higher biomass-based diesel volumes will lead to farmer profitability and economic growth for our rural communities. And, by reducing carbon emissions through the increased use of clean fuels, the RFS helps protect our environment and deliver cleaner air and healthier lives across America. 

ASA has engaged with the administration and congressional lawmakers throughout this rulemaking process and has been encouraged by ongoing interactions with EPA. With the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association advocating with legislative leaders and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council investing checkoff dollars to inform producers and improve infrastructure, Minnesota continues to be a national leader in the biodiesel movement.

“Biodiesel is a right here, right now solution for improving Minnesota’s environment,” Bob Worth said.

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