50 bipartisan House members urge Obama to boost RFS target

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 30, 2014

More than 50 bipartisan House members today called on President Obama to raise this year’s target for renewable fuel made from animal fats, used cooking grease and soybean oil.

The lawmakers said that the biodiesel industry has the capacity to produce more than 1.28 billion gallons, the target included in a proposal by U.S. EPA last November. The agency is rumored to be considering maintaining the target in a final rule that could be released sometime this summer.

“We believe it will have a terrible impact on the domestic biodiesel industry, and could lead to the closure of numerous biodiesel plants, with smaller producers taking the largest impact,” the 52 House members wrote.

Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) led the effort.

EPA sets a yearly target for biodiesel and other renewable fuels through the renewable fuel standard. Refiners are required to meet the targets by either blending in the renewable fuel or by purchasing credits known as renewable identification numbers.

Last year, the biodiesel industry produced 1.8 billion gallons of fuel. According to an industry survey, EPA’s proposal to leave the target at 1.28 billion gallons for the 2014 compliance year has contributed to widespread shutdowns and layoffs among biodiesel companies (Greenwire, May 14).

“We believe now is not the time for a critical shift in biodiesel policy,” the lawmakers’ letter said.