The National Biodiesel Board praised bipartisan legislation introduced yesterday by Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill., to ensure that a portion of America's future diesel fuel supply is renewable.
The Biodiesel Promotion and Quality Assurance Act would gradually increase the amount of biodiesel and "bio-based replacement diesel" that refiners blend into diesel to 1.25 billion gallons by 2012.
"Biodiesel is a fuel that holds great promise in terms of moving our country toward energy independence," Durbin says. "This bill will create incentives for producers and consumers alike and will allow this important alternative fuel source the chance to become a mainstream alternative to foreign oil."
Senators Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., joined Durbin as original cosponsors of the measure.
"This legislation would set a floor for biodiesel demand, which will help ensure that the promising biodiesel industry continues delivering benefits to America," says Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. "In addition to economic growth and pollution reduction, biodiesel delivers fuel refining capacity, something this nation desperately needs. Having a demand floor in place will help provide needed stability and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which benefits all Americans."
The program would require that oil refiners blend 450 million gallons of biodiesel and bio-based replacement diesel starting in 2008, gradually ramping up to 1.25 billion gallons by 2012. Biodiesel must meet 80 percent of the requirement.
Under the act, in order to be introduced into commerce, biodiesel or bio-based diesel replacement fuel is required to be registered through the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the Clean Air Act, and must have an ASTM standard. It would also establish a federal inspection program to ensure that fuels entering commerce meet quality standards set forth by ASTM, a move NBB applauded.
"Because fuel quality is so critical, the National Biodiesel Board has been working with federal and state agencies to increase enforcement of biodiesel fuel quality," Jobe says. "This would step up those efforts to help ensure that only biodiesel meeting appropriate quality standards makes its way to consumers."
The biodiesel industry produced 250 million gallons in 2006, and is on track to produce 300-350 million gallons in 2007. The 148 plants operating nationwide report 1.4 billion gallons of capacity a year.
The NBB is the national trade association of the biodiesel industry and is the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the U.S. NBB's membership is comprised of state, national, and international feedstock and feedstock processor organizations, biodiesel suppliers, fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers.
SOURCE: National Biodiesel Board.