The Environmental Protection Agency increased biodiesel production volumes for 2013 with the support of the Obama Administration Friday. The increase represents a portion of the fuel required to fulfill the mandates of the Renewable Fuels Standard.
EPA’s action sets the 2013 volume at 1.28 billion gallons. This represents an increase from the industry's production last year of nearly 1.1 billion gallons. The act responsible for the RFS specifies a one billion gallon minimum volume requirement for the biomass-based diesel category for 2012 and beyond.
Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, said the volume increase will allow for expansion and investments in biodiesel and create jobs.
"At the same time, [the increase] sends a strong signal that the U.S. is standing firm behind its commitment to producing clean, American-made energy to strengthen our energy security and break our dependence on petroleum," Jobe said.
"This decision will continue to diversify our fuel supplies so that we're not so vulnerable to global petroleum markets and this endless cycle of price spikes," Jobe said.
Jobe said also that he supports the Renewable Fuels Standard's impacts on emission reduction and job expansion. The National Biodiesel Board estimates that the 2013 volume increase will support more than 10,000 new jobs.
Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said the increase will especially benefit his state, which is the leading biodiesel-producing state.
“The new biodiesel production will create and support green manufacturing jobs at Iowa’s 13 biodiesel plants instead of sending money overseas for oil," Olson said. "It will also enhance the rural economy by supporting Iowa farmers. This includes livestock farmers, because demand created for soybean oil has the positive effect of lowering meal prices from what they otherwise would be."