Biodiesel can help slash U.S. carbon emissions — report

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2015

Biodiesel can contribute significantly to U.S. carbon dioxide reduction goals, according to a new analysis released by the industry’s main trade group.

The report conducted by Bates White Economic Consulting found that boosting biodiesel production would represent nearly 20 percent of the transportation sector’s share of the United States’ climate commitment by 2025.

“The bottom line is that, for a relatively small industry, biodiesel packs a powerful punch,” said Ben Evans, a spokesman for the National Biodiesel Board, which commissioned the study.

NBB provided a summary presentation of the report to Greenwire.

Biodiesel, considered an advanced biofuel under the federal renewable fuel standard, is made from soybean oil, used cooking grease and animal fats. The United States last year used about 1.8 billion gallons of the fuel.

The analysis comes ahead of the December negotiations in Paris, where world leaders are hoping to emerge with a new international climate change accord. President Obama has pledged that the United States will reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025 compared with 2005 levels.

According to the Bates White report, increasing biodiesel production by 350 million gallons a year between now and 2025 would represent 18 percent of transportation’s share of that goal, or 5 percent of the economywide CO2 reduction that is needed.

The reduction would be equivalent to removing 11.5 million cars from U.S. highways, the report found.

The National Biodiesel Board said the data should prompt EPA to consider more aggressive biodiesel targets in its proposal earlier this year to set multiyear renewable fuel standard mandates.