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EPA Undercuts Additional Demand for Biomass-Based Diesel
USAgNet - 03/15/2019

Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), Jefferson City, Mo., and Washington, D.C., issued the following statement as EPA retroactively granted five new small refinery exemptions for 2017.

"EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is unfortunately following in the footsteps of Scott Pruitt, undercutting demand for biodiesel and renewable diesel by handing out retroactive small refinery exemptions to every refinery that asks for one. It appears to be business-as-usual at EPA, with no effort to ensure that renewable volume obligations are made whole following the exemptions. America's farmers, biofuel producers, and the environment are directly harmed.

"The 2017 volumes for biomass-based diesel were set at 2 billion gallons, well below the industry's proven ability to produce fuels. Now, the retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2017 have cut the obligation by a total of 240 million gallons or 12 percent. Because they're retroactive exemptions, the reduced demand for biomass-based diesel will hit our industry throughout 2019. This is just another action by EPA to put big oil interests over America's soy farmers and biodiesel producers."

The five new small refinery exemptions reduced the 2017 Renewable Volume Obligation for biomass-based diesel and biodiesel by an additional 48 million gallons. Previously granted exemptions had reduced the 2017 RVO by 192 million gallons. EPA's small refinery exemptions for 2015, 2016 and 2017 have now reduced biomass-based diesel demand by more than 360 million gallons.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation's first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

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