The Iowa Biodiesel board today expressed dissatisfaction over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA made only modest changes from its June proposal, setting the 2020 biomass-based diesel volume at 2.43 billion gallons and the 2019 advanced biofuel volume at 4.92 billion gallons. The biomass-based diesel RVO for 2019 was set at 2.1 billion gallons in last year’s rule, flat-lined for two years in a row.
Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Soybean Association director of market development, issued the following statement:
“While we appreciate the modest growth in biodiesel’s primary RFS category over the previously required 2.1 billion gallons, we are disappointed that the EPA did nothing to address the high number of small refinery exemptions handed out. This undermines the policy, potentially canceling out any growth, and harms the domestic biodiesel industry. In fact, the agency’s own data show that the retroactive small refinery exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons in 2018 – the equivalent of the entire state of Iowa’s biodiesel production.
“The Administration should understand that a weak RFS affects Americans well beyond the biodiesel manufacturing industry. It also impacts American agriculture, which lately has been on the losing end of the economy. This final rule does nothing to improve that picture. Farm income is down a devastating 50 percent from five years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also, the domestic soybean crush industry wouldn’t be where it is today, without the demand for excess soybean oil. This rule puts agriculture at further risk for harm.
“I want to thank Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst for their continued leadership on this important issue. Iowa is a national leader in renewable fuels production, and we are confident our leaders will continue to fight for smart energy policy that benefits American jobs, energy security and agriculture.”
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from diverse agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.
For more on biodiesel, visit Iowabiodiesel.org.