The Obama Administration should be commended for supporting strong domestic energy policy by boosting biodiesel production last month under the Renewable Fuel Standard. This decision will stimulate new biodiesel production and create jobs across the country, including right here in Indiana where the world's largest integrated soy biodiesel plant is located.
Biodiesel - made from feedstocks such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fats - is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to be produced on a commercial-scale nationwide.
Biodiesel isn't just a good thing for soybean farmers, but also for livestock farmers and ultimately consumers. Livestock, especially pigs and poultry, rely on soybean meal for a large portion of the protein in their diet. When soybean oil is used for biodiesel, this increases oil value and can create a steady supply of soybean meal for livestock farmers.
The administration's decision increases the amount of biodiesel that refiners must use to displace petroleum diesel next year to a total of 1.28 billion gallons. The U.S. diesel market equals about 55 billion gallons annually.
This gives the biodiesel industry and its feedstock producers the certainty they need to boost production and invest in their operations.
It also will diversify our fuel supplies so that we're not so dependent on global petroleum prices that threaten our national security and economic growth.
With gas prices once again on the rise, this is exactly the kind of smart domestic energy policy we need for the future.
Kevin Wilson, president
Indiana Soybean Alliance