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Public Policy Priorities: Advocating for Biodiesel

April 25th, 2019

You’re proud that you are using home heating oil made with certified biodiesel produced by American GreenFuels, and you recognize the benefits of using renewable fuels to the economy and the environment. Now you’re ready to spread the word to consumers nationwide and to encourage everyone to use biodiesel in traditional home heating oil.

 

Today, biodiesel is considered a topic of national importance. One excellent resource for understanding and advocating public policy on both the state and federal level is the National Biodiesel Board (“NBB”) website. Its Fueling Action Center, “the online hub for the United States biodiesel industry's grassroots advocacy,” provides a wealth of information about the benefits of biodiesel, current policy issues, and key advocacy steps that should be taken. It also provides links to pages about the Biodiesel Tax Incentive and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

 

The Biodiesel Tax Incentive

 

In 2005, the Biodiesel Tax Incentive was developed to encourage companies to produce and distribute products made with biodiesel.

 

According to the NBB, the incentive increased biodiesel production from approximately 100 million gallons to approximately 2.6 billion gallons, created tens of thousands of jobs across the nation, and decreased the United States dependence on foreign oil.

 

Sounds great, right? The problem is that the Biodiesel Tax Incentive expired at the end of 2017, and a year and a half later, many biodiesel producers are on the verge of shutdown. This is due to the assumption in the biodiesel supply chain that the incentive would be reinstated — which forced producers to price their product accordingly. Despite efforts by the biodiesel industry in the fall of 2018 to engage with Congress and establish a long-term solution to the Biodiesel Tax Incentive, Congress has to-date not yet extended it past 2017. This leaves biodiesel producers in a perilous limbo and could soon result in plant shutdowns.

 

There are currently bills in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate that would extend the biodiesel tax credit for 2018 and 2019.

 

To help save this important industry, please email, tweet, call and mail your message of support to your elected officials.

 

You can thank the Connecticut Representatives who have co-sponsored the bill introduced in the House of Representatives and encourage them to secure its prompt passage by clicking the below links:

 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

Rep. John Larson

 

You can also send messages encouraging Connecticut’s other elected officials to secure the prompt passage of the biodiesel tax credit by clicking the below links:

 

Rep. Jim Himes

Rep. Joe Courtney

Rep. Jahana Hayes

Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Sen. Chris Murphy

 

Protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

 

What is the RFS? The RFS is a national policy that requires increasing volumes of renewable fuel be blended into the United States fuel supply to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel. This includes conventional biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol, and advanced biofuels such as biodiesel and cellulosic fuels.

 

In general, the term “renewable” is used to describe a product that is made from resources (such as waste oils) that are replenished at a rate which is relatively comparable with its consumption, whereas a non-renewable resource, such as fossil fuel, will eventually be depleted because the resource cannot be renewed as quickly as it is consumed.

 

Congress created the RFS program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil. This program was authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The RFS program requires that all biofuels in the program achieve at least a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and requires that advanced biofuels achieve at least a 50% reduction in such emissions. As the first commercial-scale fuel produced across the united States that meets the advanced biofuel requirements under the RFS program, biodiesel is one of the true success stories of the RFS program.

 

The NBB’s Fueling Action Center provides action items, when relevant, with regards to the RFS that you can use to reach out to your government representatives for the cause. 

 

The Next Step

 

Exercise your right to a cleaner environment! Now that you are equipped with some of the best biodiesel advocacy resources on the internet, it’s time to let your voice be heard. We are all responsible for taking care of our environment, and asking our governmental representatives to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive is a great way to help.

 

Support also begins at home, so if you haven’t already, begin using certified biodiesel produced by American GreenFuels in your home heating oil. See our blog: “Stay Warm With Certified Biodiesel Produced By American GreenFuels” to learn just how easy it is. Finally, encourage your friends to call their local retailer and ask for certified biodiesel produced by American GreenFuels in their home heating oil.