The Chicago Tribune editorial “Repeal renewable fuel standard,” (Aug. 6) was undoubtedly off the mark when it claimed the Renewable Fuel Standard had “flopped” at encouraging the development of advanced biofuels in the United States.

Biodiesel is an Environmental Protection Agency-designated advanced biofuel that’s made from a diverse array of resources that are protein production byproducts, including animal fats, vegetable oils and recycled oils. Use of these byproducts makes healthy protein less expensive for food and feed.

Since commercial biodiesel plants exist in nearly every state, biodiesel has caused the advanced biofuel category of the Renewable Fuel Standard to be met every year of the program. This means that the advanced biofuel category is truly a success story.

Last year, nearly two billion gallons of clean, renewable biodiesel was blended into the diesel fuel pool, equivalent to approximately 5 percent of the on-road diesel supply. This addition increases and diversifies the domestic diesel fuel supply, thus helping to reduce costs to consumers.

Diversification of our transportation fuel supply is a key goal of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is overly reliant on a single source: petroleum. Oil is a global commodity whose price is set not based on supply and demand factors in the United States, but on economic and political factors in some of the most unstable and hostile regions of the world. One only has to look at the latest calamity in Iraq and the corresponding jump in prices at the pump to know this is true.

All of these factors make the EPA’s proposal to reduce biodiesel’s 2014 volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard — potentially slashing the fuel’s effective market share in half this year — that much more confounding. The EPA and Congress should be embracing America’s leading advanced biofuel, not feeding the county’s harmful addiction to oil.

Joe Jobe is chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board, the single, national, comprehensive trade association for the biodiesel industry in the United States.

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