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Biodiesel industry supports 47,000 jobsBiodiesel industry supports 47,000 jobs

Positive economic impact could have been substantially higher if one-third of current biodiesel use wasn't imported.

June 28, 2016

2 Min Read
Biodiesel industry supports 47,000 jobs

A new study found that the biodiesel industry is supporting nearly 48,000 jobs nationwide. The study, conducted by LMC International, found that the 2.1 billion gal. of biodiesel and renewable diesel Americans used last year supported $8.4 billion in economic impact across a wide variety of economic sectors, along with 47,400 jobs and $1.9 billion in wages paid.

The report also highlights how growing biodiesel imports are eating into the domestic industry’s production and economic impact. It found that the industry would have supported 21,200 additional jobs last year if all the biodiesel and renewable diesel had been produced domestically. Instead, almost a third came from overseas.

Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), said the study underscores the benefits of strong policy that encourages further development of the domestic industry.

“Ending our dependence on oil is an opportunity not just for the environment and our national security but for the economy and for American workers,” Steckel said. “This industry is supporting tens of thousands of jobs from coast to coast, and we’re just getting started.”

Biodiesel – made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats – is the first and only Environmental Protection Agency-designated advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. According to EPA, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57-86% compared with petroleum diesel.

Biodiesel producers, feedstock suppliers and other stakeholders headed to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon to highlight the benefits of strong biodiesel policy. They are calling for higher biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) than EPA recently proposed, along with an extension and reform of the biodiesel tax incentive slated to expire at the end of the year. The reform would change the $1/gal. incentive to a domestic production tax credit. Under the current blenders credit, biodiesel imported to the U.S. qualifies for the incentive.

The LMC study, which was commissioned by NBB, found that biodiesel production has a significant positive impact across a variety of economic sectors, including processing and manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and animal processing.

NBB believes EPA should set stronger volumes of biomass-based diesel under the RFS, calling for at least a 2.5 billion gal. requirement in 2018. The LMC study found that with 2.5 billion gal. of production, the industry would support 81,600 jobs and $14.7 billion in total economic impact if all production were domestic. The impact is 55,000 jobs and $9.8 billion in total impact under a split of two-thirds domestic production and one-third imports.

NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.

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