Biodiesel industry worth $16.8B, provides 62K jobs — report

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013

The biodiesel industry provides nearly $16.8 billion to the country in economic activity, the National Biodiesel Board said in a report today.

The industry — which converts soybean oil, used cooking grease and animal fats into diesel — provides 62,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in wages, the report says. Biodiesel producers are on track to deliver a record 1.7 billion gallons this year, up from just over 1 billion last year, according to U.S. EPA data.

Economic research firm LMC International prepared the report for the National Biodiesel Board.

“This is further evidence that a growing biodiesel industry and a strong renewable fuel standard (RFS) are good for the economy,” Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, said in a statement.

The report also found that about 7,500 jobs could be at risk in the biodiesel industry if EPA sets its production floor next year at 1.28 billion gallons, as the agency considered in a recent draft proposal. Jobs would only be at risk, though, if actual production falls from its record this year to that level.

Biodiesel producers are pushing EPA to raise the target to drive more investment in the industry and said today the report shows “clear” evidence that the proposed target would lead to lost jobs. The oil industry, which is pushing for the change, says that the industry is mature enough to stand on its own.

EPA is expected any day to release next year’s proposed targets for biodiesel, other advanced biofuels and conventional corn ethanol.