Strong Action Needed in Response to Potential Rollback of Biodiesel RFS volumes
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Notice of Data Availability (NODA) was published in the Federal Register requesting comment on potential reductions in Advanced Biofuels and Biomass-based Diesel on Wednesday, Oct. 5. The American Soybean Association (ASA) is calling on all members and supporters to ramp up our response to make sure EPA and the White House are fully aware of the impact that these potential roll-backs will have on soybean farmers and their rural communities.There are a number of efforts underway to get our message across and we ask for your help to amplify these efforts, including the following actions:Please contact your Senate offices and urge them to sign onto the letter to EPA regarding the RFS volumes and the NODA. The letter is being led by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) as well as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). A copy of the letter can be viewed here and the deadline for Senators to sign-on is Oct. 13. To sign onto the letter, Senate offices should contact Trey McKenzie in Sen. Blunt’s office at [email protected] or Jared Henderson in Sen. Heitkamp’s office at: [email protected] your Senators to request to attend the meeting that Sens. Grassley, Ernst and Fisher are holding with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Oct. 17. Senate offices should contact Grassley’s office if they would like to attend the meeting with Pruitt. Grassley announced that he spoke to President Donald Trump about the proposal, and as a result the meeting is scheduled with Pruitt and other Senators to discuss the issue.If you tweet or use social media, please spread these messages provided by the National Biodiesel Board: Don’t let @EPA break @realDonaldTrump’s promise to rural America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htHxfg7fcqc&feature=youtu.be#RFS #biodiesel @POTUSWATCH: @realDonaldTrump promised to protect the #RFS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htHxfg7fcqc&feature=youtu.beDon’t let @EPA break that promise. Support a strong #[email protected] repeatedly promised to protect the #RFS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htHxfg7fcqc&feature=youtu.be Tell @EPA to respect that:http://cqrcengage.com/biodiesel/home?0Some of our biodiesel champions in Congress are expressing their views on the EPA proposal. Grassley took to the Senate floor to deliver strong remarks. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has put some of those remarks together with various statements that Trump made regarding his support for biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) during the campaign. That video can be viewed here:Please use this in any way you can to demonstrate how the EPA’s proposal violates the pledges Trump made when campaigning in rural states.ASA will prepare formal comments to submit to EPA in response to the NODA and providing those draft comments to states and individuals to also submit. The comments are due on or before Oct. 19, 2017.Under a RFS Proposed Rule issued in July and the subject of a public comment period that closed in August, EPA proposed to waive portions of the cellulosic ethanol volumes called for under the RFS statute, since those fuels are not being produced at the volumes expected and necessary to meet the statutory levels. Upon waiving the cellulosic volumes, they then propose to waive a commensurate amount of the overall Advanced Biofuels pool (biodiesel qualifies as an Advanced Biofuel). In addition, they have now issued a NODA, specifically seeking comment on reductions in the previously approved and currently proposed volumes for Biomass-based diesel. In the NODA, EPA cites potential impacts on supply and price resulting from the lapse in the biodiesel tax credit and the potential reduction in imports stemming from the anti-dumping and counter-vailing duties being imposed by the Commerce Department/International Trade Commission in response to a trade case filed by the U.S. biodiesel industry against subsidized imports from Argentina and Indonesia. EPA is soliciting comment on all of the factors impacting biodiesel volumes.Total U.S. production of biodiesel was approximately 1.9 billion gallons in 2016 with ample feedstock and production capacity to produce more. Another 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel was imported in 2016. The EPA proposed volumes of 2.1 billion gallons (including imports) of biomass-based diesel for 2019 – well below the actual capacity of the biodiesel industry to produce fuels here in the United States. In comments submitted to EPA on the proposed volumes, ASA and the biodiesel industry advocated for a level of at least 2.5 billion gallons for 2019. The subsequent NODA contemplates rolling back biomass-based diesel levels below the already insufficient 2.1 billion gallon level.Additional information and talking points to use when contacting Senators and other policymakers can be found in the Action Alerts and on the Soy Action Center.