Congress held a hearing Thursday on diesel emissions, which the Environmental Protection Agency calls one of the most dangerous pollutants that may pose the greatest risk to the U.S. population. The National Biodiesel Board is emphasizing the health and air quality benefits of blending biodiesel and petroleum diesel. According to NBB, biodiesel is the only commercial-scale fuel used today that fits under EPA's definition of an advanced biofuel by reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly and reducing every major toxic air pollutant.
"Thousands of trucks and buses hit the road every day burning traditional diesel fuel, and using larger amounts of diesel fuel blended with biodiesel is the simplest, most effective way to immediately improve emissions," said Ben Evans, NBB's director of federal communications. "Along with creating U.S. jobs and reducing our reliance on foreign oil, improving air quality is a major reason why domestically produced biodiesel must play a critical role in the nation's fuel mix."
The EPA has released comparisons of emission properties of biodiesel and petroleum diesel. According to their numbers biodiesel emission of carbon monoxide is 48% lower than that of diesel, 47% lower in terms of particulate matter, 67% lower in hydrocarbons and the exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates, which are major components of acid rain, from biodiesel are essentially eliminated compared to diesel.
The U.S. has more than enough production capacity and available qualifying feedstock to meet the RFS2 Biomass-based Diesel volume targets for 2011," said NBB Senior Advisor Larry Schafer. "Specifically, there is more than 2.12 billion gallons of domestic Biomass-based Diesel production capacity registered with the EPA under the RFS2 program to meet the statutory targets for 2011 and 2012. Further, there is ample feedstock to support the production of Biomass-based Diesel production at levels in excess of the RFS2 program’s Advanced Biofuel volume obligations. By conservative estimates, there is domestic feedstock available to support 1.77 billion gallons of annual biodiesel production in the United States, which is more than is required under the RFS2 for 2011.