Democratic News

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) joined a bipartisan letter, signed by 40 of her Senate colleagues, urging the Obama administration to increase its proposed 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations for biodiesel to encourage continued growth in the industry and diversity in the nation’s energy supply.  

“Biodiesel is the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to reach commercial scale production nationwide,” the senators wrote. “The biodiesel industry has met RFS criteria for growth, exceeding the goals that Congress envisioned when it created the RFS with bipartisan support in 2005 and supporting over 47,000 jobs. ... The EPA’s 2018 proposal calls for just 100 million gallons in growth over the 2017 volume. This does not capture the full potential of the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries in our states and should be strengthened to at least 2.5 billion gallons, an increase of 400 million gallons.”

According to a study conducted by LMC International and released by the National Biodiesel Board, the 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel used by Americans last year supported 47,400 jobs and $1.9 billion in wages, and had an $8.4 billion economic impact. The LMC study further found that 2.5 billion gallons of production, as the senators call for in their letter, would support 81,600 jobs and $14.7 billion in total economic impact if all production were domestic, or 55,000 jobs and $9.8 billion in total economic impact if at least two-thirds were produced domestically.

The following senators signed on to the letter: Mark Kirk (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), John Thune (S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Al Franken (Minn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Angus King (Maine), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).

The full text of the letter is available here.