The National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the trade association for the U.S. biodiesel industry, released the following statement regarding early reports from administration officials and others regarding President Obama's State of the Union Address to be delivered Tuesday:
"The U.S. biodiesel industry is proving that we can accomplish the president's goals of creating jobs while building a clean-energy economy," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. "With the help of strong domestic energy policy, we had a record year of production last year and supported nearly 40,000 jobs across the country."
"We know we can build on that success, and we couldn't agree more with the president that it should be a top priority," Steckel added. "That's why we're calling on the Administration to quickly finalize the delayed EPA rule for boosting biodiesel use under the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2013. This is a decision that the Administration can make singlehandedly and that would support more than 10,000 new jobs."
Biodiesel was a bright spot under the RFS in 2011. The industry produced a record volume of 1 billion gallons, easily exceeding the 800-million-gallon requirement for Biomass-based Diesel. The EPA last year proposed increasing the volume requirement from 1 billion gallons in 2012 to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. But the agency announced in December that it was delaying a final decision to conduct further review.
Along with advocating for the final RFS rule, the biodiesel industry also is urging Congress to reinstate the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive that expired on Dec. 31, 2011.
"The tax incentive and the RFS are clearly working as Congress envisioned," Steckel said. "These policies are creating jobs. They're displacing imported diesel fuel with clean, American-made biodiesel. And they're significantly cutting tailpipe pollution and greenhouse gas emissions."
Biodiesel is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the country to meet the EPA's definition as an Advanced Biofuel. Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats, it is produced in nearly every state in the country. It is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines and meets a strict ASTM fuel specification. According to a recent economic study, the industry's 1 billion gallon production milestone in 2011 supported some 39,027 jobs and $2.1 billion in household income.