40 senators seek higher biodiesel mandate

40 senators seek higher biodiesel mandate
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Forty senators are asking the Obama administration to increase the proposed volume for blending biodiesel into the nation’s fuel supply.

The senators, led by Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntFunding bill gives billion boost for NIH medical research Spending talks face new pressure Senate GOP shoots down bill blocking Trump tariffs MORE (R-Mo.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySpending bill would double child care funding for low-income families Funding bill gives billion boost for NIH medical research Spending bill prevents employers from pocketing tips under tip-pooling rule MORE (D-Wash.), argue that biodiesel volume the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed for 2018 is less than the industry’s production capacity.

“The EPA’s 2018 proposal calls for just 100 million gallons in growth over the 2017 volume,” the bipartisan group of senators wrote Thursday to the EPA. “This does not capture the full potential of the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries in our states and should be strengthened to at least 2.5 billion gallons, an increase of 400 million gallons.”

The EPA proposed in May to require that refiners of traditional diesel blend 2 billion gallons of biodiesel into their supplies in 2017 and 2.1 billion gallons in 2018.

The mandate is part of the renewable fuel standard, which also includes annual ethanol mandates for gasoline.

“We urge you to continue to support higher [volumes] for biodiesel to encourage additional development and use of this fuel,” the senators said.

The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the letter and agreed with it.

“I think this letter reflects a growing consensus on Capitol Hill that biodiesel and renewable diesel are successfully delivering the economic and environmental benefits that Congress had in mind when it created the RFS,” Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the biodiesel group, said in a statement. “This is a success story, and hopefully this letter helps show the Obama administration and the EPA that we need to do more.