What the Senate Farm Bill means to the US biodiesel industry

By Ron Kotrba | June 22, 2012

The U.S. biodiesel industry is pleased with the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill passed this week in a 64 to 35 vote. Last month, National Biodiesel Board Chairman Gary Haer of Renewable Energy Group Inc. testified in committee to keep funding for the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program and the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, programs that NBB says “are critical to raising awareness of biodiesel and stimulating new production.” Haer pointed to the record 1.1 billion gallons of biodiesel production last year as evidence these programs are working.

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which has helped fund feedstock development through camelina and pennycress trials, is authorized for $38.6 million per year from 2013-'17. Algae is not eligible for funding.

The Biorefinery Assistance Program—now called the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Program—is authorized for $100 million in 2013, and $58 million for years 2014-'15. Several biodiesel producers have benefitted from these funds to expand production capacity and make facility upgrades or incorporate advanced technologies.

The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels was approved for $20 million per year from 2013-'17.

Finally, the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program has been authorized for $1 million in mandatory funding for each year 2013-'17.

Leaders in the renewables space are urging the House to pass the measure with energy titles in place. 


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