The American Soybean Association (ASA) praised the recognition of biodiesel in President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address. ASA will continue to champion support of biodiesel with the Administration and Congress for extension of the biodiesel tax incentive beyond 2008, as well as an expanded role for biodiesel in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).
"For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil," the President said in his address. "It is in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply — and the way forward is through technology." The President specifically called to "...expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel."
President Bush called for a larger Renewable Fuels Standard for the nation of 35 billion gallons by 2017.
"Through American-made biodiesel, U.S. soybean growers can play a vital role in meeting this new goal that will strengthen America’s economy, national security and environment," said ASA Chairman Bob Metz, a soybean grower from West Browns Valley, S.D., who currently serves as the immediate past Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board.
"This initiative will benefit soybean growers by creating long-term demand for biodiesel made from soybean oil. We are pleased that biodiesel has strong bipartisan support in Congress. ASA looks forward to working with both parties to pass pro-biodiesel legislation, such as the biodiesel tax incentive, and a greater role for biodiesel in the RFS."
Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) made the Democratic response to the president’s State of the Union speech. He said, "We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the President and his party to bring about these changes."
Analysis published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that every 50 million gallons of biodiesel raises soybean prices one percent. At the current level of 300 million gallons, biodiesel demand is already adding about 30 cents per bushel.
"Biodiesel is an essential component of a comprehensive national energy policy that will help the United States reduce its dependence on imported oil," Metz said. "Every gallon of biodiesel processed from domestically grown soybeans also helps thousands of farmers and their families, and the rural communities in which they live."
ASA is the policy advocate and collective voice of its 24,000 producer-members on domestic and international issues of importance to all U.S. soybean farmers.