Oil lobby petitions US EPA to scale back 2013 biodiesel mandate

By Ron Kotrba | November 21, 2012

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers filed a petition Nov. 20 asking U.S. EPA to reconsider its final rule boosting the biomass-based diesel portion of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) from 1 billion gallons this year to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. 

“AFPM strongly urges that EPA reconsider its decision to increase the biomass-based diesel volumes by 28 percent in 2013,” stated the petroleum lobby in a press release. “Since the EPA initially issued the rule, a number of factors have surfaced that could result in unintended consequences that will adversely impact both the domestic refining industry and U.S. consumers, as well.”

The agency initially issued the proposed increase more than a year before its final rule came out this September.

“EPA’s own data estimates that the cost of increasing the biomass-based diesel mandate will add between $253 million and $381 million to consumers’ transportation fuel bill in 2013,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. “The U.S. economy is still struggling and this increase will hurt the millions who rely on transportation fuels.” 

“In 2013, the RFS will save U.S. consumers more than $120 million at the pump,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “And going forward, it will certainly help consumers by diversifying our fuel supplies so that we’re not so vulnerable to oil price spikes that hit year after year.”

“Contrary to EPA’s research,” AFPM stated, “evidence is strong that an increase in the 2013 volume will not affect domestic energy security as the U.S. currently is a net exporter of diesel. In the category of unintended consequences, EPA’s decision will curtail investment in advanced biofuels that compete with biodiesel and will increase carbon emissions in 2013 under the RFS. The increase could also negatively impact the price and supply of agricultural commodities, since additional biodiesel feedstocks, such as soybean oil, will be required under the rule.” Drevna added that EPA should have resolved the RIN program restructuring to prevent fraud in the marketplace before increasing the 2013 renewable volume obligation for biomass-based diesel.

“The EPA was well aware of all of the issues AFPM has raised as it made its independent analysis and, ultimately, the agency made the right decision,” Steckel told Biodiesel Magazine. “Contrary to the petroleum industry’s complaints, biodiesel production will only boost the economy by creating new jobs and economic activity. Last year alone, our industry supported more than 40,000 jobs, with plants in nearly every state in the country. Biodiesel also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel, according to the EPA, and it dramatically reduces other harmful and costly air pollutants from petroleum diesel.”  



9 Responses

  1. James J



    I find it amazing that Charles Dreva can make these statements with a straight face.

  2. Ron



    Thank you James, I couldn't agree more with you.

  3. Bryan S.



    Would you expect anything less from 'Big Oil'? It's only natural for an industry - one that's been heavily subsidized to get to the point where it is today - and strong-arm an emerging industry like biodiesel. Just a little devil's advocate: I wouldn't want anyone intruding in 'my market' either, albeit a better alternative - or in this case - supplement to the incumbent. The corporate war chest of the oil industry will do everything and anything to make it as difficult as possible to make biodiesel - and other biofuels - truly competitive with petro-diesel. Not defending the oil industry here as I think biodiesel is a critical component within the global distillate pool, particularly with more stringent carbon reductions schemes slated to go into effect in the states and elsewhere; just opening up the debate a bit

  4. jaydeep b.



    I do productin of biodiesel is and of 2013 10000liter/day...plz help of mass production... this time onty 2 liter/day production ,onlt precticaly plan,,,,,

  5. Peter Brown



    Whay are we not in the least surprised about this. The only renewable they are interested in is the methane gas produced by their BS. What they cannot buy they subvert from the BP sponsored Pimentel report to the shores of the Louisiana bayous everything they do and say leads directly to their obscene profits and their pathetic save the earth campaigns. They learned the PR techniques from Mr. Goebbels with a finishing school touch from the NRA and Citizens United. Big oil doesn tot kill people and cause climate change, people killl people and a lie oft repeated becomes the truth are now firmly in place. The horror is that we, the people who are striving to bring low cost biodiesel to rural America, cannot compete dollar for dollar against that kind of opposition. I will say that the bright light here is that we have forced them out of the closet and if it was not for people like Ron (Our Humble Host, Margaret Dunn, Jim Lane and others, they would still be in the closet and subverting from within.

  6. peter brown



    Cheap Shot, he looks like Vladimir Putin the day he took over the oil business?

  7. Charles F.



    I think it's a spitting image of Montgomery Burns, the evil Nuclear Power baron in the Simpsons.

  8. Peter brown



    I stand corrected, Mr. Burns it is.

  9. hub



    Food For Fuel, what are these govt fools thinking? The new EPA mandate requires energy producers to produce 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel. The supply of soybeans and animal fats and grease for other products will decrease thus raising the price of goods that are currently made from these products. Farmers have cut way back on hogs,pigs,chicken and the American cattle herd is the smallest in 60 years. Already 40% of the us corn crop goes for ethanol production. You can bet that the cost of a lot of food items will rise significantly in 2013.


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