EPA 2013 Biodiesel Mandate Challenged

The American Petroleum Institute is challenging the EPA's biodiesel mandate. The 2013 biodiesel mandate is 1.28-billion gallons - up 28-pecent from the 2012 requirement. API filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia late Monday. API has also filed a petition for administrative reconsideration of the 2013 biodiesel mandate with the EPA. A petition has also been filed by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

The 1.28-billion gallon target for biomass-based diesel fuel was announced in August. It was applauded by the National Biodiesel Board - with CEO Joe Jobe stating the decision would allow biodiesel plants across the country to invest and expand - creating thousands of jobs. But the petroleum industry says the EPA went too far. API Group Downstream Director Bob Greco says the overzealous biodiesel mandate is unworkable, could raise the costs of making diesel fuel and should be reduced. Greco says the EPA even admitted the costs of increasing the biodiesel volume requirement for 2013 outweighed the benefits by as must as 425-million dollars. Charles Drevna - American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers President - goes as far as saying the EPA's decision will curtail investment in advanced biofuels that compete with biodiesel and will increase carbon emissions in 2013 under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Drevna says the increase could negatively impact the price and supply of agricultural commodities as well - since additional biodiesel feedstocks like soybean oil will be required under the rule.

National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel says the petroleum industry is sending mixed messages - fighting advancements toward clean, renewable fuels while embracing alternative energy in its marketing. Steckel notes the EPA clearly determined that increased biodiesel production is good for the country. Last year alone - she says the industry supported more than 40-thousand jobs. Steckel says NBB encourages the oil industry to drop these lawsuits and work constructively toward improving our energy security with a mix of traditional and renewable fuels.

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