Biodiesel advocates head to Capitol Hill urging for strong RFS
More than 100 biodiesel advocates from across the country are visiting Capitol Hill today urging Congress to support a strong renewable fuel standard (RFS). Participants include biodiesel producers, distributors and feedstock suppliers representing more than two dozen states.
“The petroleum lobby is making a lot of noise about renewable fuels and we’re coming to town to make sure that Congress hears the other side of the story,” said Todd Ellis, vice president of sales and business development at Seattle-based Imperium Renewables. “Despite what you might hear, the RFS is working, and we’re building a new American fuels industry that is creating jobs, producing cleaner fuel, and ultimately helping consumers.”
“We’ll be reminding Congress that biodiesel is an EPA-designated advanced biofuel that is here today and that is exceeding its RFS targets, with two consecutive years of 1 billion gallon production,” Ellis added.
The biodiesel leaders, visiting Washington for an annual membership meeting of the National Biodiesel Board, represent the broad diversity in the industry, with participation from states including California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
During their Hill visits, they also will advocate for a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, which is slated to expire again at the end of the year.
“No matter how much domestic oil and gas we find through fracking or new drilling, consumers will continue getting hurt by unstable global petroleum markets until we develop alternatives to oil,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “That’s why Congress passed the RFS in the first place with huge bipartisan support, and it’s why we can’t let up on these goals now.”
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 is 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 some 50,000 jobs nationwide. NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association.