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Biodiesel Board Tries to Convince EPA's Regan of Biofuel's Benefits

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The National Biodiesel Board has asked for a meeting with EPA Administrator Michael Regan. (Photo courtesy National Biodiesel Board)

The National Biodiesel Board is trying to make a case with EPA Administrator Michael Regan on the benefits of biodiesel to cutting carbon emissions in transportation fuels and improving health in disadvantaged communities.

The NBB made its second request since May for a meeting with Regan, writing in a letter on Thursday that the biofuel's benefits match the Biden administration's goals.

"We believe that our industry's goals are consistent with your agency's plans to address carbon and focus on environmental health," Kurt Kovarik, NBB vice president of federal affairs, said in the letter. "Replacing petroleum with drop-in alternatives like biodiesel and renewable diesel immediately reduces carbon. Additionally, biodiesel and renewable diesel reduce particulate matter and hydrocarbon emissions that contribute to cancer, lung and heart disease rates."

In May, the NBB released the findings of a study, "Assessment of Health Benefits from Using Biodiesel as a Transportation Fuel." The study said switching from petroleum to 100% biodiesel in transportation could bring fewer asthma attacks and other lung problems to some disadvantaged communities, lost workdays and premature deaths as well as reductions in cancer risks.

EPA recently released a new report, "Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States." The report explores what it says are unequal effects of carbon and associated emissions on socially disadvantaged communities.

"EPA's new report highlights an important issue but does not go further to discuss solutions," Kovarik said in the letter. "We would like an opportunity to show Administrator Regan how biodiesel and renewable diesel can support EPA's goals to address climate change and environmental justice issues."

EPA's report identifies U.S. communities projected to experience the highest effects of climate change, including air quality on asthma rates and premature deaths. It then estimates the likelihood that socially vulnerable populations live in these areas.

According to the NBB, the U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity annually. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity, the group said in a news release. Biodiesel production supports about 13% of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans.

Read the NBB letter here: http://kce.informz.net/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow me on Twitter @DTNeeley

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