The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Sept. 14 an increase in the biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) from 1 billion gallons in 2012 to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013, a move welcomed by the American Soybean Association (ASA).
“More than half of all biodiesel produced in the United States comes from soybean oil, which expands a growing market for soybean farmers,” said ASA President Steve Wellman. “We congratulate the Environmental Protection Agency on today’s announcement as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Secretary Vilsack for their continued strong support for the U.S. biodiesel industry. We look forward to helping the U.S. biodiesel industry hit the 1.28 billion gallon mark in 2013. By achieving the new requirement, we’ll help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and help increase soybean meal supplies to our valued partners in the livestock industry for use as feed.”
Wellman highlighted several benefits from biodiesel production that help U.S. livestock producers. “Soybean-based biodiesel actually has a positive impact on U.S. soybean meal supplies,” he said. “Processing biodiesel from soybeans uses only the oil portion of the soybean, which is about 18-20 percent of the soybean, leaving the remaining 80-82 percent of the soybean available as protein to nourish both livestock and humans. By increasing the market for soybean oil in the United States and domestic oilseed processing, we increase the availability of protein-rich meal for human and livestock consumption. The increased meal supply results in a more cost-effective food and feed source. In addition to soybean oil, biodiesel is made from a wide range of sources, including other agricultural oils such as canola, recycled cooking oil, and animal fats, enabling the majority of biodiesel producers to alternate feedstocks if prices increase or supplies decrease.”
“It is important to remember,” added Wellman, “increased biodiesel use helps to grow diversity in our nation’s fuel supply, which in turn, reduces our vulnerability to inflated global oil prices which are the real drivers behind increased food costs because of higher food processing and transport costs. Biodiesel is a clean, renewable, American-made energy source that helps expand our fuel supply.”
ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.