If the U.S. is ever going to reduce exposure to the endless cycle of oil price spikes it needs the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), said Anne Steckel, vice president, federal affairs, National Biodiesel Board (NBB). In a statement released this week, NBB urged the Obama administration to raise the volume standard for biodiesel next year as the EPA has proposed. “Thousands of jobs in our industry as well as improved U.S. energy stability depend on that decision,” Steckel said.
The Obama administration is reviewing EPA’s proposal to increase the biodiesel volume requirement under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. Late last year, the administration delayed the decision, saying it needed further review. The EPA could issue a final rule within weeks, the NBB reported.
Last week, a bipartisan group of 60 members of Congress signed letters to the White House urging the administration to follow through with the proposed increase. The Senate version is available at http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/legissues/fuelingactiondocs/rfs/SenateRFSLetterToAdministration2.pdf . The House version is available at http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/legissues/fuelingactiondocs/rfs/HouseRFSLetterToAdministration2.pdf . 
Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the U.S. and last year supported more than 39,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in GDP, according to a recent study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international economics consulting firm.
The accompanying chart is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s This Week in Petroleum. It shows the recent increase in diesel fuel prices as well as gasoline and heating oil.