Biodiesel industry irked at delays in EPA mandate

The federal government’s delay in implementing biodiesel mandates is causing business to lay off workers and declare bankruptcy, the industry said.

The National Biodiesel Board detailed some of the consequences of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) more than one-year delay in the 2014 mandate in a letter Friday to the agency.

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The EPA was obligated to make a final decision on the amount of biodiesel refiners must blend into standard diesel by November 2013, but it has not made a decision, even after the year ended.

The biodiesel group’s frustrations reflect those of ethanol producers, whose mandate is on a similar time frame and also had not been set.

“Based on years of statements by you and President Obama, we all believed we had an ally in this administration,” Ben Wootton, a member of the biodiesel group, wrote in the letter to EPA head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyTrump plans to roll back environmental rule everyone agrees on EPA chief to visit Colorado mine spill site In the fight between Rick Perry and climate scientists, Perry is winning MORE.

“But we have been stunned and frustrated by the administration’s inaction and perceived disregard for biodiesel.”

Wootton said he had his own biodiesel company but uncertainty over the mandate forced him to liquidate it.

To the biodiesel industry, the continued delay in setting the volume under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was only made worse when the EPA this week made it easier for Argentine companies to import biodiesel and allow refiners to get credits for it.

Joe Jobe, chief executive officer of the biodiesel group, said the EPA has what it needs to immediate set a final standard for 2014.

“The volumes are already known,” Jobe told reporters Friday. “There’s no reason they shouldn’t finalize the advanced biofuel rule.”