The National Biodiesel Board reported this week that 32 U.S. senators signed a letter urging the EPA to move quickly to approve a strong Renewable Fuel Standard for biodiesel for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“This is a very strong turnout that matches our support from last year’s RFS letter, even though we lost several supporters in the November elections,” NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said in a release.
The letter can be found on the NBB website here, including a list of senators who signed. The group is bipartisan and geographically diverse.
Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were among the legislators to sign the letter. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association encourages MSGA members to reach out to Klobuchar and Franken and thank them for their work and support of the RFS.
The senators wrote that the EPA delays in implementing the RFS have created “tremendous uncertainty and hardship for the U.S. biodiesel industry and its thousands of employees. Plants have reduced production and some have been forced to shut down, resulting in layoffs and lost economic productivity
The senators also pointed to a recent decision by the EPA to effectively streamline biodiesel imports from Argentina under the RFS. They said the EPA should take into account the anticipated increase in Argentinian imports in setting biodiesel volumes to prevent the displacement of domestic production.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led the letter.
“On behalf of biodiesel producers across the country I want to thank Sens. Heitkamp, Blunt, Grassley and Murray, as well as all of the other senators who signed the letter, for their leadership on this issue,” Steckel said. “These senators understand that we need clear, stable policy to break our dangerous dependence on petroleum and diversify our fuel supplies with cleaner alternatives that create jobs and economic activity in the U.S.”
Steckel was also stern in her criticism of the delays.
“There is absolutely no reason for continued delays in the biodiesel volumes. This could be done tomorrow,” Steckel added.