EPA misses opportunity to grow American-made energy, jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Thursday the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and failed to grow the biomass-based diesel volumes. Since the July proposal was released, NBB has relentlessly called for growth in the volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.
“EPA Administrator Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth. These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors — be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers — as well as consumers. Nevertheless, we can’t thank our members and our biodiesel champions at the state and federal levels enough for their tireless advocacy and education efforts. We’ll continue to work with the administration to right this wrong for future volumes,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board.
EPA announced requirements of 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels for 2018 and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel again for 2019. The July proposal recommended only 4.24 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel—a reduction and a flatline, respectively, from last year’s standards. The biodiesel industry has consistently exceeded EPA’s standards — despite the agency underestimating the volumes each year. These volumes are important for setting a baseline—and our industry will again surpass these low expectations — but the failure to increase volumes will inhibit continued growth and investments.
Since the July proposal and the September Notice of Data Availability, the biodiesel industry has engaged in aggressive advocacy for growth in the volumes. In addition to an extensive series of meetings with administration officials, NBB issued robust data sets, a campaign-style video, a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post, a letter to President Trump from NBB’s leadership, and NBB joined a broad coalition letter with other biofuels advocates. The association led several letter-writing and social media campaigns, as well as assisted with governors’, senators’ and NBB members’ efforts to raise the volumes. This week, nearly 100 NBB members were in Washington, D.C., to meet with their elected officials on Capitol Hill.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. Biodiesel supports roughly 64,000 jobs across the United States.
The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.