The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) wrote President Donald Trump asking that he “provide additional help to the nation’s farmers and rural communities by supporting policies that expand production and use of biodiesel.” The groups asked the president to provide biodiesel room for growth under the Renewable Fuel Standard, restore lost demand for biodiesel resulting from small refinery exemptions, and back legislative extension of biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentives.
In the letter, NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen and ASA CEO Ryan Findlay state, “Biodiesel adds value to every bushel of soybeans and plays an important role by providing a market for surplus soybean oil. Today, farming income is at its lowest level in more than a decade. Even as soybean growers set production records this year, they are experiencing depressed prices and market uncertainty.”
The CEOs add that the Environmental Protection Agency “offered too little room for growth of biodiesel” in this year’s proposed rule for the RFS. While the agency acknowledged the industry’s ability to produce 2.8 billion gallons, it proposed a much lower volume. Moreover, the agency granted a flood of small refinery exemptions that reduced biodiesel demand by at least 300 million gallons – equivalent to the annual production of Iowa, the nation’s top biodiesel-producing state, they point out.
The CEOs also urge the president to back the industry’s request to Congress to provide long-term certainty for the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. The industry needs certainty to ensure access to capital, make investments, hire and grow, the CEOs say.
Rehagen and Findlay close the letter by stating, “Your support for these policies can further grow the RFS and provide an economic boost for rural America when it is most needed.”