In response to a Proposed Rule for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard Required Volume Obligations (RVO) issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Soybean Association expressed concern that the biomass-based diesel levels for 2014 and 2015 would be reduced below the amount actually produced in 2013.
The rule, which establishes the amount of biofuels that obligated parties must utilize for 2014 and the amount of biomass-based diesel for 2014 and 2015, proposes a biomass-based diesel RVO of 1.28 billion gallons, less than the amount produced by the industry in 2013. EPA has also proposed to reduce the total advanced biofuels requirement, which also limits the opportunities for biodiesel.
“The level set forth in the proposal is unnecessarily low and will stifle the growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry over the past several years,” said Danny Murphy, a soybean, corn and wheat farmer from Canton, Miss., and ASA’s president. “Biodiesel, including biodiesel produced from soybean oil, is the most prevalent advanced biofuel currently produced in the United States. Biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production. The industry has met or exceeded the RFS Biomass-based Diesel volume requirements each year they have been in place.”
ASA will continue to work with EPA and industry partners to demonstrate the flaws represented by this proposal and looks forward to achieving a final rule that does not hinder the momentum and positive economic benefits generated by biodiesel.
“The biodiesel industry is on track to produce at least 1.7 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013, and can match or surpass that production level in 2014,” added Murphy. “By keeping the RVO target at the lower 1.28 billion gallon level, EPA would be limiting an industry that is supporting jobs, providing a valuable market for soybean farmers, and in turn lowering the price for the protein-rich soybean meal used in animal feed.”
As Murphy points out, processing biodiesel from soybeans uses only the oil portion of the soybean, leaving all of the soy meal protein available for livestock feed and consumer food products. By providing a market for soybean oil, biodiesel increases the availability of protein-rich meal, and the increased meal supply results in a more cost-effective food and feed source.
“As we move forward, ASA will be working with industry stakeholders as well as with EPA during the public comment period to demonstrate to the agency the merit and benefits of setting the biomass-based diesel RVO at a level in the final rule that is not below the amount produced in 2013.”