RFS waiver requests and biodiesel

By NBB | September 10, 2012

As the drought takes its toll across the Midwest, debate over waivers of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) have grown. In recent weeks, a variety of sources have urged the EPA to waive, in whole or in substantial part, the RFS for one year. While many believe that waiving the RFS is not good policy, the National Biodiesel Board has been pleased that biodiesel has not been cited in these waiver requests. In fact, many of the lawmakers and other groups seeking a waiver are biodiesel supporters who have assured NBB that they have no intention of attacking the biodiesel RFS requirement, and we see little impetus for a waiver of the biomass-based diesel category.


That said, any effort to waiver or alter the RFS is a potential threat to the program, and NBB’s federal affairs team has been working hard to bolster support for the policy and raise awareness of its critical importance to the biodiesel industry.


For example, because the waiver requests have their roots in livestock and poultry states, the team has worked closely with supporters on Capitol Hill and with partners in the livestock industry to ensure that the biodiesel story is accurately portrayed. The following points have been emphasized:


• The biodiesel industry uses a diverse mix of feedstocks and has significant flexibility in overcoming production setbacks from drought. Most biodiesel plants can utilize a variety of feedstock and will shift their production accordingly if there is a shortage in any one feedstock, such as soybean oil.


• Many livestock groups support the biodiesel industry because we provide a market for animal fats (a leading biodiesel feedstock) and because our production from soybeans stimulates the market for soybean oil—thereby boosting supplies of soybean-meal livestock feed and reducing its cost.


NBB continues to monitor the situation closely in Washington, D.C., and urges all biodiesel supporters to spread the word that biodiesel is the only feedstock-diverse, EPA-designated advanced biofuel being produced on a commercial scale across the country.

 
 
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