Biodiesel producers to meet with lawmakers, White House officials
More than 120 biodiesel leaders are visiting Washington this week to call on Congress to extend the expired biodiesel tax incentive and to urge the Obama administration to quickly finalize the U.S. EPA's proposal to grow biodiesel volumes under the renewable fuel standard next year.
"Washington's failure to act on these two issues has effectively halted the momentum our industry built last year in producing a record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons," said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. "It is locking up millions of dollars in investments that could be creating jobs, purchasing equipment and feedstock, and driving economic growth."
Industry leaders will be meeting with White House officials and members of Congress June 5. They will specifically be calling for the Obama administration to follow through with the EPA's proposal to increase the biodiesel volume requirement under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013, up from 1 billion gallons this year. Late last year, the Obama administration delayed the decision.
"This is a proposal that has strong support from the EPA and USDA, and yet it has been caught up in a bureaucratic delay for nearly a year, without any explanation or justification," Steckel said. "It is blocking significant investment and hiring, so we are pleading with the Obama administration to follow through with its 'all-of-the-above' energy rhetoric by finalizing this proposal. It is something the administration can do tomorrow, without waiting on Congress."
The Administration's delay on the RFS rule has come as Congress allowed the biodiesel tax incentive to expire on Dec. 31. The tax incentive has broad bipartisan support, and biodiesel leaders will be urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass an extension as soon as possible.
"There is no magic bullet for fighting high gas prices, but we can chip away at the problem by diversifying our supplies through strong domestic energy policies like these," Steckel said. "We know these policies work."