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Corn+Soybean Digest

ASA Urges Activism To Safeguard Biodiesel Demand

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is encouraging all U.S. soybean producers and their family members, neighbors and friends to voice concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule on the implementation of the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS-2). With the future of the U.S. biodiesel industry at stake, ASA is issuing a national call-to-action for grassroots activism regarding the proposed rule.

"The EPA’s proposed rule on RFS-2 implementation is significantly flawed and would do unnecessary harm to the competitive position of the U.S. soy biodiesel industry," says ASA President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, TN. "A loss of the domestic biodiesel market would significantly decrease prices paid to U.S. farmers for their soybeans."

For soybean farmers, the vital flaws and concerns with the RFS-2 proposed rule include flawed and immature assumptions and methodology utilized to measure the indirect land use impacts of U.S. soy biodiesel production; unnecessary and onerous feedstock certification requirements; a methodology that contains a major error pertaining to the direct emission calculations for nitrogen in soybean production; a lack of accounting for glycerin as a co-product; inaccurate assessment of the energy balance of biodiesel; a proposed pathway of using a 52-48 feedstock ratio of biodiesel feedstocks that is not workable in practice; a lack of accounting for improved agriculture yields and efficiency; and a baseline analysis that compares estimated, future direct and indirect GHG emissions for biodiesel to only direct emissions for petroleum.

"Soybean farmers have a great interest in the implementation of the RFS-2," Dodson says. "Unless the flaws in EPA’s proposed rule are corrected, soy-based biodiesel effectively will be excluded from the meeting the renewable energy targets established under RFS-2. Soybean farmers would lose a source of demand for soybean oil, biodiesel manufacturers would be left without sufficient feedstock supply, jobs would be lost and our nation would not decrease its dependence on imported oil. None of these outcomes are what Congress intended. That’s why ASA is providing detailed comments to the EPA, and why ASA is asking farmers and the agricultural community to contact EPA as well."

ASA is providing an easy-to-use online form where people can read the letter, add personal contact information and submit comments with the click of a button. Family members, friends and neighbors are also encouraged to use this form.

Access the form, which includes the letter and links to additional background information.
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