In late September 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice that called for comments on a proposal to further reduce the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2018 and 2019 in the biomass-based diesel category of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Last month, the biodiesel industry, citizens, and political supporters rallied together to urge President Trump to keep his promises, and not roll back volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The comment period began October 4th and saw hundreds of responses from around the industry. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) had more than 600 advocates respond, sending comments to the EPA, as well as writing letters to both the EPA and the White House. Many other organizations from around the country joined the biodiesel industry in submitting official comments to the EPA, pushing back against the proposal and calling for higher volumes.
Both Senators and Governors advocate the RFS, supporting biodiesel through letters, phone calls, and press conferences, proving they are truly champions for the biodiesel industry. Led by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a bipartisan group of 33 senators signed a letter to EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, calling for higher RFS volumes, and urging the EPA to protect biodiesel.
“Reducing volumes … is disruptive, unprecedented and very troubling,” the senators wrote. “These volumes do not meet actual biodiesel production capacity in the United States, and could have a negative impact on jobs and economies in rural communities across the nation.”
After the comment period ended, Pruitt released a letter addressed to a group of seven senators stating that the RFS volumes would not be rolled back. He did not commit to increasing volumes beyond the current proposed amount.