Minn. farmer promotes biodiesel during D.C. visit

Biodiesel and renewable diesel took center stage in mid-November as Clean Fuels Alliance America (Clean Fuels) journeyed to Washington, D.C., with two main topics on the agenda: the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In attendance was Chris Hill, a Clean Fuels governing board member and director with both the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and American Soybean Association.

“While we were in Washington, D.C., we thanked members of Congress for extending the existing PTC incentives through 2024,” Hill said. “Without this stable policy putting a price floor in place, fuel prices would rise even further.”

According to a study released in May by Clean Fuels, U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generates a four percent price decrease, saving consumers about 20 cents per gallon.

“We’re thankful that biodiesel and renewable diesel are recognized as part of the tax credit,” Hill said.

Chris Hill represents the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council on the Clean Fuels board

Along with the PTC, the RFS was an important topic discussed with legislators. The RFS program was created in 2005 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the renewable fuels sector, all while reducing reliance on imported oil. Every year since 2015, biomass-based diesel has been used to meet more than 90 percent of the annual advanced volumes.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard is a focus right now because it runs out this year,” Hill said. “We are asking for aggressive, sustainable growth for advanced biofuels.”

Not only does biodiesel and renewable diesel provide environmental benefits, but it also boosts the economy. The industry supports roughly 75,000 jobs, of which 28,000 are farm jobs, and generates $23.2 billion in economic activity. In Minnesota, which in 2002 became the first state with a biodiesel minimum blending requirement, the homegrown fuel contributes nearly $1.7 billion toward the state’s economy.

A new study published in November 2022 shows the significant economic impact of increased demand for biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel in the United States. The study, “Economic Impact of Biodiesel on the U.S. Economy 2022,” measures the direct, indirect, and induced impacts across the entire value chain, from raw material production, collection and processing to fuel production and distribution based on 2021 market data.

“As Minnesota soybean farmers, it’s very important that we stay involved with Clean Fuels,” Hill said. “They do invaluable work on our behalf, especially at the federal level.”

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. Clean Fuels is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.

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