The Environmental Protection Agency's latest renewable fuels proposal will provide stability for the U.S. biodiesel industry while helping to create jobs, improve the environment, and bolster U.S. energy security, National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe testified Tuesday.
Speaking at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing, Jobe said the EPA's proposal represents a modest and sustainable level of growth in the Biomass-based Diesel program that is consistent with the availability of the diverse feedstocks used to make biodiesel, such as vegetable oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats. He noted that biodiesel is the only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel being produced on a commercial scale across the country, and he commended the EPA for supporting the industry's growth.
"While we believe these are conservative targets for the U.S. biodiesel industry, we applaud the EPA for proposing a reasonable increase," Jobe said in a statement after the hearing. "As America's only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide, we are ready to meet the challenge."
So far this year, biodiesel is demonstrating its ability to achieve the EPA's 2011 standard of 800 million gallons. Biomass-based Diesel production has averaged some 75 million gallons in recent months, with a high of 82 million gallons in May, putting it well on track for meeting or exceeding the target.
The EPA's latest proposal calls for increasing the Biomass-based Diesel volume to 1 billion gallons in 2012 and almost 1.3 billion gallons in 2013. (Biodiesel makes up nearly all U.S. Biomass-based Diesel production.) Because it qualifies as an Advanced Biofuel, biodiesel is also eligible to exceed the Biomass-based Diesel targets and help meet general advanced biofuels requirements under the program.
"We're confident that we can meet these production goals. In doing so, we'll help cure America's oil addiction with a clean-burning renewable fuel while creating good-paying American jobs," Jobe said. "This program was developed to wean the country off foreign oil with cleaner homegrown fuels, and we believe it's working as intended."