Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) appreciates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for announcing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) standards for its 2014-2017 biomass-based diesel targets. While the proposal is not perfect, we are pleased that it calls for steady growth in biomass-based diesel – from 1.63 to 1.90 billion gallons – through 2017 and is a dramatic improvement from the EPA’s initial draft in November 2013. In fact, while the initial proposal would have held biodiesel flat at the 2013 standard of 1.28 billion gallons through 2015, today’s proposal calls for an increase of more than 600 million gallons between 2013 and 2017.
“Soybeans are used to make biodiesel – a renewable fuel that helps support Illinois agriculture and the state’s economy,” said Bill Raben, ISG chairman and soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill. “This low-emission, clean-burning fuel is being produced at extraordinary rates and shouldn’t be held back considering the benefits it has over alternative fuels.”
The U.S. produced a record-breaking 1.8 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013, according to the EPA. That year, the organization proposed setting the 2014 RFS Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) at 1.28 billion gallons – much lower than the production level. That proposal was highly criticized and the EPA withdrew it, leaving no targets set to date and uncertainty for biodiesel production. Meanwhile, in 2014 Illinois produced 152 million gallons of biodiesel.
“A recent soybean checkoff-funded study found biodiesel contributed to a $15 billion increase in U.S. soybean oil revenues between 2006 and 2012. That’s money our country, our state and our famers can’t afford to lose,” Raben said.
Read more about today’s RFS announcement here: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/420f15028.pdf
For more information about the benefits of biodiesel, please visit www.ilsoy.org/biodiesel.
Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is a membership organization serving more than 45,000 Illinois soybean growers. ISG provides advocacy in Springfield and Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of soybean farmers, and research, promotion and education programs that enhance soybean production and use. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoygrowers.com.
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Director of Issues Management Analysis