In a letter sent last week, the American Soybean Association urged President Barack Obama to intervene and improve the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2014 volume requirements for biomass-based diesel.

The letter states, “The EPA proposal to limit the biomass-based diesel volumes to 1.28 billion gallons for2014 and 2015 would unnecessarily stunt the growth of the U.S. biodiesel industry and would forego the significant emissions reductions and economic benefits derived from this growing sector. It is both troubling and perplexing that the Administration, which has heretofore strongly supported biodiesel for its many environmental and economic benefits, would propose to establish RFS levels that are below 2013 domestic consumption and production levels.”

Reducing the 2014 and 2015 RVO for Biomass-based diesel below 2013 production levels would result in reduced demand for soybean oil, which accounts for about half of all U.S. biodiesel production. Biodiesel production in 2013 utilized approximately six billion pounds of soybean oil. With large crops and global soybean production expected to increase in 2013 and 2014, reduced levels of soy oil being consumed in the domestic food market, and an increase in other biodiesel feedstocks coming online, the need for a growing biodiesel market is vital to the bottom line for U.S. soybean farmers.

The letter emphasized how biodiesel has created thousands of jobs in nearly every state in the U.S., has support from numerous members of congress, governors and mayors across the country and how its expansion would have a positive impact on agriculture.

“The ASA, representing 600,000 U.S. soybean farmers, is extremely proud of the major role we have played in the development of the U.S. biodiesel industry – an industry that has helped diversify our fuel supply, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and created jobs and economic growth, especially in rural America. Biodiesel has become an important market for soybean oil, added value to our product and boosted the farm and rural economy. Soy oil would be a drag on demand for soy meal protein and whole soybeans if not for the biodiesel market. In recent years, there has been increased soybean production to meet global protein demand and at the same time soy oil is being displaced from food markets due to the move away from trans fat,” ASA said in the letter.

To read the letter, click here.