Renewable Energy Group Leaders Testify at EPA Hearing on 2014 RFS Proposal
Jobs, Production, and Environmental Benefits Cited As Reasons to Increase Biodiesel Volumes
(WASHINGTON, DC) December 5, 2013— Leaders from Renewable Energy Group® (NASDAQ: REGI) joined more than two dozen biodiesel advocates in providing testimony at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on the proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes.
Gary Haer, REG Vice President, Sales and Marketing and Bruce Lutes, General Manager of the company’s biodiesel refineries in Danville, Illinois and Newton, Iowa shared their perspectives on why the EPA should increase the biomass-based diesel Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for 2014 to at least 1.7 billion gallons.
Haer focused on this year’s record biodiesel production and the corresponding environmental benefits. “This year’s projected volume of more than 1.7 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 billion pounds when compared to petroleum diesel fuel,” Haer told the panel. “That’s an additional 8 billion pounds of GHG reductions than if we produced 1.28 billion gallons, which means the cost of carbon of biodiesel is dramatically lower than the cost of carbon of diesel fuel.”
Haer also questioned why EPA officials used outdated data in its proposal instead of current figures showing ample availability of biodiesel feedstocks, decreased cost of production, and increasing biodiesel blend rates across the country. “All of the data used to support the proposed volume of 1.28 billion gallons in the 2014 was the same data that EPA used to set the RVO at 1.28 billion gallons in 2012. The data EPA relied upon for the 2014 proposal is from 2011, ignoring the gains the industry has made over the last two years” Haer said.
Lutes, who manages REG facilities in two communities hard hit by massive job losses, focused on what the biodiesel industry means to local economies. “The current Danville area unemployment rate is close to 13% and we need these jobs more than ever before,” Lutes said.
Lutes also focused on the larger number of indirect jobs supported by the biodiesel industry. “We had almost 14,000 truck deliveries in and out of the Danville plant alone last year. To those who say the RFS forces the government to pick winners and losers, I say this policy is a winner for jobs, the economy, energy security, and most definitely for the environment. The only way you pick a loser here is by picking the numbers in this proposal,” Lutes said.