From the Wall Street Journal:
BRUSSELS—The European Commission said Thursday it would investigate whether U.S. biodiesel is being shipped through third countries to avoid tariffs placed last year on direct shipments from the U.S. to the European Union.
The commission, the EU’s executive arm, also said it would examine whether U.S. producers are shipping their product in blends that contain less than 20% pure biodiesel to avoid the tariffs, which only apply to blends containing more than 20%.
Ahhh,, in a word “Yes”. Within a month after the EU passed the tariff, we were contacted by an exporter that wanted to buy our biodiesel to export to Europe through the Caribbean. We declined, as we believe in using it domestically (over 95% of our fuel is used here in North Carolina). The exporter, ironically is now out of business.
But the bigger irony is that biodiesel production has basically been crippled in the United States because of the failure of Congress to pass the biodiesel tax credit, and because of other encumbering and onerous government compliance reporting programs that are choking the industry.
According to DOE reports, in 2008, there were approximately 678 Million gallons of biodiesel produced in the USA. In 2009, production appears to be less than 200 Million. The 2010 DOE biodiesel production data are not released yet, but given the tax credit was not renewed in December of 2010, estimates are as low as 50 Million gallons of biodiesel will be produced in all of 2010. I know the NBB national convention was a ghost town this year in Dallas, compared to previous years attendance.
I don’t think the the EU needs to do a thing here. Just sit back and watch our renewable fuel economy shrivel up and die. Our congress is doing all the work for them. Problem solved.
All the squawking by the President and Congress about supporting domestic renewable fuels, supporting small business, and creating “green” jobs appears to just be smoke. So what exactly is the EU really worried about here? Kicking a dying horse when it’s down?
The full WSJ article is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704407804575424750813493056.html and is worth reading since it talks about Europe being the biggest biofuel market in the world. That means it’s bigger than Brazil’s ethanol (and soon biodiesel) economy and our own here in the USA, yet the USA is by far the largest consumer of petroleum fuel in the world. Shouldn’t we be the largest biofuel market in the world, just by sheer statistics?
It would therefore be easy to presume that the support for the petroleum industry and lack of initiative towards the biofuel industry must be intentional, otherwise it would not be so.
Biofuels in the USA is a complex issue apparently, but it shouldn’t be. Biodiesel is renewable, domestic, clean, and supports local jobs and local agriculture. If you’re reading this and never have tried biodiesel in your diesel car or truck, why not? Try it, ask for it at your gas station, google “biodiesel” and find your nearest producer. Let’s start using biodiesel here at home where it will help everybody in this country and let the Europeans find something else to complain about us over.