Biodiesel Production Hits Record in 2013

Kimberly White/Bloomberg News

The U.S. biodiesel industry produced a record 1.8 billion gallons of the fuel in 2013, according to figures recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Biodiesel industry leaders said the production level underscores their case for a revised renewable fuel standard.

“The success of the biodiesel industry in 2013 proves that the RFS is working today and stimulating the commercial-scale production of advanced biofuel,” Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, said in a Jan. 27 statement. “It also makes it incredibly frustrating that the Obama administration is backing away from this progress with its recent RFS proposal.”

The administration has proposed keeping the 2014 RFS volume for biodiesel at 1.28 billion gallons and at the same time cutting the overall advanced biofuel requirement.

The biodiesel industry says that proposal, if finalized, would reduce production. The industry wants the proposals to at least reflect current production rates.

The cut could “shock the industry,” he said, and would come on top of Congress’ failure to renew the key biodiesel tax incentive that lapsed Dec. 31.

The tax credit of $1 per barrel has helped subsidize the higher price of producing biodiesel relative to diesel. In years past when Congress failed to renew the credit, some biodiesel producers shuttered their plants.