Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) appreciates Senator Dick Durbin’s biodiesel support expressed during a press conference yesterday in Washington, D.C., with other farm state senators. Legislators highlighted the need for reinstatement of the federal biodiesel tax credit and for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for biodiesel.
ISG has been working with Senator Durbin and other Illinois legislators to highlight the negative impact the tax credit lapse has had on the still growing biodiesel industry.
A recent survey of the nation’s biodiesel producers conducted by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) finds 80 percent have scaled back production this year and almost six in 10 have idled production. Additionally, two-thirds of biodiesel producers nationwide say they have already reduced or anticipate reducing their workforce as a result of the downturn in production.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard was created more than 10 years ago to drive growth in the biofuels industry. And with the help of the biodiesel tax credit, the biodiesel industry has delivered on its promise, supporting thousands of jobs in Illinois and helping drive economic development in our rural communities,” Durbin stated during the conference. “But as illustrated by the survey, two recent issues have put this industry — this success story — at risk.”
A recent soybean checkoff-funded study found biodiesel contributed to a $15 billion increase in soybean oil revenues from 2006 and 2012, while soybean prices rose 74 cents per bushel.
“We thank Senator Durbin for pointing out the positive impacts of the biodiesel tax credit and the RFS. This issue is important to Illinois soybean producers. Biodiesel production also benefits consumers, the Illinois economy and rural communities,” says Bill Raben, soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill., and ISA chairman. “We urge ISG members to contact legislators and encourage continuation of the biodiesel tax credit and adjustment of the RFS to higher levels.”