A member of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has testified to the House Small Business Committee on Rural Development on the contribution of biodiesel to the clean energy economy.
Thomas Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel, spoke at a hearing on ‘Growing the Clean Energy Economy’, in front of the Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship, which was chaired by Representative Abby Finkenauer (D-IA).
The company employs 24 workers at its plant in Farley, Iowa, in addition to 28 contract truck drivers, with a combined payroll of $3.7 million (€3.35 million). A recent study by LMC International found that in 2018 across the US, the biodiesel industry generated $17 billion (€15.4 billion) in economic impact and supported 65,600 US jobs.
"Our small business is a large economic presence in our small community," Brooks said. "Moreover, we are delivering clean energy right now, today. Strong, consistent federal policy is needed to ensure continued success."
Brooks added that the industry’s growth over the past 15 years has been supported by policies such as the biodiesel tax incentive, as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard. However, he warned that instability in these federal policies is forcing small businesses to reduce investments and take production capacity offline.
"It's ironic that EPA has shown such concern for the economic hardships facing small petroleum refineries," Brooks added. "The small refinery exemptions the agency is granting to every refiner that asks are simply shifting the hardship to even smaller biodiesel producers – small businesses like mine."
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