The U.S. biodiesel industry is supporting more than 62,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in wages this year with production on pace for a record of 1.7 billion gallons, according to a NBB-commissioned study released Wednesday.
The study, conducted by research firm LMC International, found that employment supported by the industry would drop by almost 8,000 jobs if the EPA were to limit production to 1.28 billion gallons, the volume proposal included in a recently leaked EPA document outlining potential RFS standards next year.
"This is further evidence that a growing biodiesel industry and a strong Renewable Fuel Standard are good for the economy," said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.
The study looked at three production scenarios for 2014. First, under status quo production of 1.7 billion gallons, supported employment would remain at 62,200 jobs with supported wages of $2.6 billion and total economic impact of nearly $16.8 billion.
If production were to fall back to 1.28 billion gallons, the number of supported jobs would drop to 54,500, with supported wages falling below $2.3 billion and total economic impact reduced to $12.2 billion.
A third analysis looks at a high-volume scenario, consistent with recent months' volumes averaging roughly 170 million gallons, or an annualized rate of 2 billion gallons. It found that the number of supported jobs would rise to 66,600, supporting wages of nearly $2.8 billion and total economic impact of more than $20 billion.
"The difference between 1.28 and 2 billion gallons next year could result in a swing of 12,000 jobs supported, $500 million in wages paid, and $7.8 billion in total economic impact,” Steckel said.