Biodiesel Production Suffering
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
During a recent press conference of six U.S. Senators regarding the biodiesel industry and the challenges and setbacks it now faces due to the proposed EPA rule to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard Requirement and Biodiesel Tax Credit uncertainty three biodiesel producers also spoke about what the challenges are that they confront in continuing to develop this industry. One of those was Jeff Haas, CEO of General Biodiesel in Seattle, which turns restaurant grease and other waste oils into fuel.
HAAS: We're nearly half way through the year and we still don't know what the RFS volume will be, or whether the Biodiesel Tax Incentive will be reinstated. I can't overstate the importance of these policies. They provide direction for every decision maker in the industry. Without direction it's incredibly difficult to do business.
Haas said such policy indecision has created uncertainty for biodiesel employers, employees, and their investors, creating a soft market.
HAAS: We've been forced to respond with limited production and reduced shifts, which has strained our cash positions and limited our options, while helplessly watching our best and brightest young employees loose confidence and flee the industry altogether. Unless Congress and the Administration act we'll be forced to make very difficult decisions in the near future.
Maria Cantwell, one of the six Senators holding the press conference stated that we need to make sure biodiesel industry pioneers such as Haas continue to have the incentives that will encourage their businesses to grow. Washington state has been a leader in the biofuels industry, producing and exporting millions of gallons of biodiesel and creating hundreds of jobs.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.