The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a cornerstone of the biodiesel industry, and the biodiesel sector of the program has been a resounding success, exceeding RFS volume requirements each year and becoming the first EPA-designated Advanced biofuel to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production.
But this success is in jeopardy. Despite record biodiesel production last year of nearly 1.8 billion gallons, the EPA has proposed holding the biodiesel RFS volume at 1.28 billion gallons for 2014 and 2015. This is a potentially devastating proposal for the future of our industry, and we must show policy makers in Washington the very real damage it will do to our industry, the economy, U.S. energy security and the environment. We are asking all biodiesel supporters to closely follow the pending rulemaking at EPA and regularly weigh in with Administration officials and their members of Congress. Additionally please consider writing an op-ed or letter in your local newspaper to help spread the word.
Below you will find the documents you need to stay engaged on this issue, including talking points about job creation, emissions reduction and other benefits.
To reach your members of Congress:
Quick Talking Points
- Biodiesel is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. With more than 1 billion gallons of production for three straight years, it is proving that Advanced Biofuels are working today. Congress and the White House should continue that success with modest, sustainable growth under the RFS.
The biodiesel industry proved last year that it can produce more than 1.7 billion gallons, and the EPA should adjust its RFS proposal with volumes that are at least consistent with last year's production.
A recent economic study found that cutting biodiesel production to 1.28 billion gallons, as the EPA has proposed, would threaten at least 8,000 jobs.
- The RFS is critical for diversifying the fuels marketplace. The biodiesel industry is increasing domestic energy production and expanding domestic refining capacity so that we’re not so vulnerable to global oil markets and associated refining bottlenecks. This improves U.S. energy security because no matter how much oil we discover domestically, consumers will continue to be at the mercy of heavily manipulated global petroleum prices until we have diversity in the market.
The EPA has determined that biodiesel reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared to petroleum diesel. With nearly 6.5 billion gallons used from 2005 to 2013, biodiesel has reduced lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 64 million tons – the same impact as removing 9 million passenger vehicles from America’s roadways. Additionally, the EPA consistently cites tailpipe emissions from traditional diesel – primarily from older trucking fleets and other heavy-duty vehicles – as a major national health hazard. Substituting higher amounts of biodiesel for traditional diesel fuel is the simplest, most effective way to immediately reduce diesel emissions.
Biodiesel is one of the most diverse fuels in the world, produced using a broad mix of resources including recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats. This has helped shape a nimble industry that is constantly searching for new technologies and feedstocks. Industry demand for new alternatives is stimulating, and often financing, research on new feedstocks such as algae and camelina.