The Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board today voiced their concerns over the lackluster biodiesel growth proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The EPA released its proposed RFS volumes for 2023 and beyond on November 30. The increases for biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel volumes in 2023, 2024 and 2025 are not consistent with the industry’s projected growth, nor with the Biden administration’s goals to quickly decrease carbon emissions, the groups said.
Dave Walton, a soybean farmer from Wilton, Iowa, who serves as a director on both the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board, issued the following statement on behalf of the organizations:
“While we recognize that the EPA’s proposed 2022 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes include some growth for the biodiesel industry, by any measure it is very conservative growth, and that will be detrimental. The 60 million gallons of RFS volume growth proposed by EPA for 2023, for example, is a far cry from what other agencies are projecting to come online. The Energy Information Administration predicts 500 million gallons of added biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2023. EPA should take that into account.
“Frankly this small increase in growth would send negative signals to the market. Significant investments have been made in feedstock infrastructure, like soybean crushing plants, and the administration would undercut that. Iowa’s 11 biodiesel plants, which have a proven history of generating economic growth and jobs while reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, also stand to lose under this proposal. That means our state’s rural economy and Iowa soybean farmers, who rely on strong commodity demand to support their livelihoods, also come up short if this proposal is finalized.
"If decarbonization is truly a national priority, then biodiesel is one of the best technologies available to achieve that right now – not decades in the future. We will continue to work with EPA through this process in hopes that the agency will take a more forward-looking approach, and more aggressive growth, in the true spirt of the RFS.”
The Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook, which informs EPA’s decisions on annual RFS volumes, currently projects a 500-million-gallon increase in biodiesel and renewable diesel consumption for 2023. EIA has also projected 2.4. billion gallons of added renewable diesel capacity coming online by 2024 and calculated another 1.8 billion gallons in announced planned capacity.