Deadline to sign is Friday, Dec 6th!
On Friday, November 19th, the U.S EPA formally issued its 2014volumes and requirements in itsRenewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
. Of major concern is that the proposal keeps biomass-based diesel at its 2013 level of 1.28 billion gallons. This unacceptably low volume is an effective cut, given our industry’s expected production this year of at least 1.7 billion gallons and would strike a huge blow to our industry and the investment that supports it.
The following Tuesday, as part of an impressively informed and well organized national effort led by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), California industry representatives met with a targeted list of staffers for Senators Boxer and Feinstein, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Rep. Henry A. Waxman of Beverly Hills is the ranking member) and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Senator Barbara Boxer is the chairman). Our contingent included Jennifer Case, CEO, New Leaf Biofuel; Celia DuBose, Executive Director, CBA; Christina Borgese, Principal and Senior Engineer, PreProcess; J.W. Hackett, Director, Federal Affairs & Policy, REG; and Lindsay Fitzgerald, Director, Regulatory Affairs, NBB.
Our team gave a brief overview of California’s biodiesel industry stressing that success for our state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard requires increasing RFS volume requirements. Our arguments were stated most succinctly by Jennifer Case, who simply said she’s not sure how she will keep her plant open, having calculated that she would have to sell biodiesel at a 16 cent per gallon loss — which does not even account for overhead. Writ large, here’s what we are looking at(from an NBB handout on the impact of cutting biodiesel from 1.7 to 1.28):
- Jobs lost — 7,7000
- Decrease in energy security — $61.4 million
- OMB Social Cost of Carbon — $136 million (carbon cost benefit)
- GHG reduction — 8 billion pounds
- Household income/wages — $333,000,000
- Economic impact — $ 4.550,000,000
- Consumer price of diesel fuel — Up
Troubling to the biodiesel industry is that the EPA’s proposed rule is focused on addressing the ethanol blend wall issue, and not based on any problems with biodiesel. EPA staff has stated thatopposition to RFS from livestock groups and environmentalists is not directed at biodiesel. Adding to that frustration is that, despite a concerted and persistent effort by NBB’s DC staff over many months, which provided detailed recent studies and updated documentation supporting our position, the EPA, in setting the proposed 2014 volumes, used the exact same numbers they used when they set their 2013 numbers, in what some are calling a “cut and paste job.”
EPA, in their proposed rulemaking, has called for comments on volume ranges presented for the four categories of biofuels under RFS, and a 60-day comment period will open up once the proposal is published in the Federal Register. CBA will provide more information and ask for your help at that time.
For now, our focus is on getting our representatives in the House to add their name to the growing list of Members (bellow) who have signed on to this letter
to the administration by December 6th. The letter, initiated by Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), calls for biomass-based diesel volumes of at least 1.7 billion gallons. Let them know that in recent weeks 32 Senators signed a similar bipartisan letter in response to a leaked draft of the EPA proposal in mid-October.
Thanks to those of you who have already been working on this issue, especially Carlo Luri of Bently Biofuels and Lisa Mortenson of Community Fuels, who dropped everything
to join NBB staff for key meetings in DC earlier in the month.
House Signers as of November 26th (only one Californian so far):
Tom Latham (R-IA)
Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Steve King (R-IA)
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
|Rick Nolan (D-MN)
Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL)