(NAFB)--According to new Environmental Protection Agency figures - the U.S. biodiesel industry reached a new production record for the first half of the year and is on pace for its best year ever. The EPA has reported that biodiesel producers across the country have produced more than 636-million gallons through the end of June. With that - the industry is on pace to break the previous annual biodiesel production record of just under 1.1-billion gallons and significantly exceed this year’s Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirement. National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel says this is further proof that policies like the RFS are delivering. She says the growth in production means good-paying jobs, fewer harmful emissions and a diversified fuel market that is helping consumers.
This week - even as we’re drilling more and more oil at home - Steckel notes gas prices were the third highest on record. She says it shows that we need alternatives if we’re going to escape this cycle of price spikes in the oil markets. Steckel says the American people understand the need to diversify and adopt an all-of-the-above energy approach. She says we need strong domestic energy policy to do that. The National Biodiesel Board points out that production remained flat at 2011 levels in 2012 after Congress allowed the dollar-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive to expire. But after the incentive was restored this year and the EPA finalized a volume increase under the RFS - NBB notes the industry is poised to shatter previous records. There is some concern Congress might allow the incentive to expire again at the end of this year. Karl Radune - President of a small producer in Southington, Connecticut - says the uncertainty around the tax incentive makes it difficult to plan for growth.