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Source: American Soybean Association news release

American Soybean Association (ASA) Director Mike Cunningham joined other biofuels stakeholders in Washington today to testify at a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to set the 2014 and 2015 biomass-based diesel Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) at 1.28 billion gallons. The number is significantly less than the industry is capable of producing next year, as well as the 1.7 billion gallon RVO that industry had called for.

"Soybean farmers are extremely proud of the major role we have played in the development of the U.S. biodiesel industry - an industry that has helped diversify our fuel supply, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and created jobs and economic growth, especially in rural America," said Cunningham, a soybean farmer from Bismarck, Ill. "The Biomass-based Diesel and total Advanced Biofuels levels set forth in the proposal are unnecessarily low and will stifle the growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry over the past several years."

As Cunningham illustrated in his testimony, ASA sees no compelling reason not to increase the Biomass-based Diesel volumes above the estimated actual production for 2013, or at least 1.7 billion gallons with a commensurate level for total Advanced Biofuels.

"Biodiesel is the most prevalent advanced biofuel currently produced in the United States," explained Cunningham. "The industry has met or exceeded the RFS Biomass-based Diesel volume requirements each and every year they have been in place and 2013 production is expected to reach 1.7 billion gallons."

"Any RFS volume requirement below the 1.7 billion gallons to be produced in 2013 would be a significant setback for the biodiesel industry and for our shared goals of diversifying the nation's fuel supply, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and growing our economy," he added.

For a full transcript of Cunningham's testimony, visit:

EPA will continue to accept public comments on its proposed rule through Jan. 28. In addition to Cunningham's testimony, ASA members will submit their own comments until the closing date, and will remain in contact with EPA until the final rule is released.

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