WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Soybean Association (ASA) today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the proposed volumes for biomass-based diesel to 2.5 billion gallons for 2018 in the Proposed Rule for Renewable Fuel Standard at an EPA national public hearing. Former ASA chairman and Iowa soybean farmer Ray Gaesser said, “We think EPA should enthusiastically support more aggressive, but easily achievable, volume targets for biodiesel. We see no reason why EPA should not, at a minimum, support biomass-based diesel volumes of 2.5 billion gallons for 2018.” The U.S. biodiesel industry provides energy, economic and environmental benefits, ranging from significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, increased domestic energy production and expanded markets for farmers and livestock producers. By not increasing biomass-based diesel levels, Gaesser explained that “the EPA and Administration are missing an easy opportunity to help the ag and rural economy while at the same time achieving greater greenhouse gas emission reductions – a high priority for EPA and this Administration.” Biodiesel is a domestically-produced, renewable fuel that is proven to achieve emissions reductions ranging from 50 - 86 percent better than petroleum diesel. Accounting for approximately half of the feedstock used, soybean oil remains the largest source of oil for biodiesel production. ASA believes the Proposed Rule should implement a more aggressive biomass diesel program, especially considering the existing production capacity, feedstock availability and price, and the growing volumes of imports. “Given the economic and environmental benefits for biodiesel, we believe that the soybean industry and the EPA should be allies on RFS issues,” Gaesser concluded.