Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, made the following statement regarding the report from the National Research Council on the Renewable Fuel Standard:
"We were pleased to see the authors reaffirm that biodiesel is an Advanced Biofuel that can meet the biomass-based diesel targets under the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2). In fact, biodiesel - as an Advanced Biofuel under RFS - is also well-positioned to help fill the program's general volume requirement for Advanced Biofuels.
We agree with the authors that biofuels must be produced in a sustainable way to achieve our goals of improving the environment, reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil, and creating jobs. We believe the biodiesel industry is doing just that by displacing nearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum diesel this year while supporting some 31,000 jobs across the country.
We were happy that the authors recognized a wide variety of environmental and economic benefits from biodiesel. For example, they noted that soy biodiesel - about half of U.S. biodiesel production - has a positive impact on livestock feed prices, helping hold down costs. This is because only the oil - which accounts for about 18 percent of a soybean - can be used for fuel, and the highly nutritious soybean meal is used for feed. The report also reaffirmed that biodiesel significantly reduces particulate matter and other harmful tailpipe emissions when compared to petroleum diesel.
Regarding greenhouse gases, the report again makes clear that there are significant uncertainties surrounding the hypothetical modeling used to calculate indirect land-use change for biofuels. We believe the evidence demonstrates that biodiesel compares very favorably when compared to petroleum, as the EPA found in its most recent analysis, which shows that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent, depending on the feedstock used.
Biodiesel is currently the most diverse fuel in the world, made from a wide variety of resources including secondary-use agricultural oils, animal fats and recycled cooking grease. It is the only fuel produced on a commercial-scale across the country that meets the EPA's standards as an Advanced Biofuel."
To learn more about biodiesel, and for the most recent research on issues such as water use and land impacts, please visit http://www.biodieselsustainability.com/.