For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Evans/NBB
WASHINGTON - More than 120 biodiesel leaders are visiting Washington this week to call on Congress to extend the expired biodiesel tax incentive and to urge the Obama Administration to quickly finalize the EPA's proposal to grow biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard next year.
"Washington's failure to act on these two issues has effectively halted the momentum our industry built last year in producing a record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons," said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. "It is locking up millions of dollars in investments that could be creating jobs, purchasing equipment and feedstock, and driving economic growth."
Industry leaders will be meeting with White House officials and members of Congress Tuesday. They will specifically be calling for the Obama Administration to follow through with the EPA's proposal to increase the biodiesel volume requirement under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013 - up from 1 billion gallons this year. Late last year, the Obama Administration delayed the decision.
"This is a proposal that has strong support from the EPA and USDA, and yet it has been caught up in a bureaucratic delay for nearly a year, without any explanation or justification," Steckel said. "It is blocking significant investment and hiring, so we are pleading with the Obama Administration to follow through with its 'all of the above' energy rhetoric by finalizing this proposal. It is something the Administration can do tomorrow, without waiting on Congress."
The Administration's delay on the RFS rule has come as Congress allowed the biodiesel tax incentive to expire on Dec. 31. The tax incentive has broad bipartisan support, and biodiesel leaders will be urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass an extension as soon as possible.
"There is no magic bullet for fighting high gas prices, but we can chip away at the problem by diversifying our supplies through strong domestic energy policies like these," Steckel said. "We know these policies work."
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines. It the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and last year supported more than 39,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in GDP, according to a recent study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm. NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association.
# # # For more details visit biodiesel.org.