NBB, ATA to lobby for B5 biodiesel blend
Feb 6, 2007 12:47 PM
The National Biodiesel Board and the American Trucking Associations announced Monday that they are forming a working group to lobby for a federal mandate for a five percent (B5) biodiesel blend for transportation. The announcement was made during the opening session of 2007 National Biodiesel Conference in San Antonio TX.
Speaking by video from Washington DC, ATA President Bill Graves said a federal mandate would help ensure a uniform supply of B5 across the United States and would replace the multitude of state mandates and programs that are proving costly and confusing for the trucking industry. He pointed out that B5 is a realistic blend level in light of current biodiesel production capacity.
Current data shows annual US demand for distillate products of approximately 60 billion gallons. A B5 mandate would require three billion gallons of biodiesel, far more than the 180 million gallons of biodiesel produced in 2006. There is no way the biodiesel industry could even come close to meeting a mandate for higher percentage blends.
Joe Jobe, NBB president, added that the association’s objective is for biodiesel to achieve five percent of the total US diesel market by 2015. That means a lot of new production capacity and new vegetable oil sources. “By doing that, we could replace all of the diesel that comes from Iraqi crude oil,” he said. “That would be enough biodiesel to replace a quarter of the diesel made from crude oil from the Persian Gulf region.”
Support for the NBB/ATA initiative came quickly from a quartet of Congressmen, who also addressed the opening session of the National Biodiesel Conference. Rep Collin Peterson (D-MN) said that a call for a national biodiesel mandate would be well received on Capitol Hill. Rep Peterson is the new chairman of the House Agricultural Committee. <“We applaud the National Biodiesel Board and the American Trucking Associations for reaching out to each other,” he said. “When groups like this work with each other it makes our jobs in Congress easier. I agree with them on a national mandate, and I do believe mandates work. A single national standard is better for everyone, because it helps us avoid a patchwork of state standards. It’s going to take work to make this happen, though.
Rep Peterson, along with three Republican Congressmen (Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Dave Weldon (R-FL), and Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) stressed that US-produced agricultural fuels are crucial to national security. They said Congress understands that, and polls show that 80% of the American public want more reliance on US-produced ag fuels, such as biodiesel.
It’s time we get our fuel from the Midwest, rather than the Mideast,” Rep Peterson said. “We need to stop funding oil-producing regimes that aren’t friendly to the United States.”
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