|Article Posted: 05/18/2005 8:33:59
President's Call for Greater Use of Soy
Biodiesel Use in Energy Plan
LINCOLN, NE –Visiting a soy biodiesel plant near
Richmond, Virginia, President Bush highlighted the valuable role that soy
biodiesel can play in a comprehensive energy plan to wean the United
States from foreign petroleum.
The occasion marked a historic
moment in the soy biodiesel industry. This is the first time any president
has visited a biodiesel plant in the U.S. Representatives of the National
Biodiesel Board (NBB), American Soybean Association (ASA) and United
Soybean Board attended, along with hundreds of other industry leaders,
farmers, government representatives and others.
After visiting the
Virginia plant with President Bush, Greg Anderson, United Soybean Board
(USB) Chairman, a soybean farmer from Newman Grove, Neb., noted only the
trucking and rail industries use more diesel than agriculture. Anderson
also serves as Chairman on the Nebraska Soybean Board
“Farmers and ranchers use nearly 3 billion gallons of
petroleum diesel every year,” said Anderson. “If we all ask our fuel
suppliers for just B2, a 2 percent blend of soy biodiesel with regular
diesel, we could utilize close to 54 million gallons of soy biodiesel a
year. That's helping displace foreign oil used to make diesel. And it's
using U.S. soybean oil to make soy biodiesel from the equivalent of close
to 40 million bushels of U.S. soybeans.”
A biannual survey of U.S.
soybean farmers conducted by the soybean checkoff earlier this year shows
36 percent of U.S. soybean farmers currently use soy biodiesel in their
farming operation. That's an increase from 21 percent in a similar survey
conducted in the fall of 2002.
“While nearly four out of 10 of us
use soy biodiesel, six out of 10 still don't,” said Anderson. The soybean
checkoff survey shows the lack of availability continues to be cited as
the top reason more U.S. soybean farmers don't use soy biodiesel. Though
the number is falling, 66 percent of the soybean farmers who indicated
they don't use biodiesel said it still isn't available in their area. But
Anderson says what President Bush found during his visit to Virginia can
happen all over the country.
“Soy biodiesel became available here
in Virginia because farmers asked for it,” said Anderson. “And that's the
case all over the country. If your fuel supplier doesn't carry it, find
one that will. And then use it on your farm or ranch.”
checkoff dollars invested by farmer-driven USB and Qualified State Soybean
Boards (QSSBs) have been instrumental in the development and market
expansion of soy biodiesel in the United States for more than a decade.
For example, the soybean checkoff invested more than a million dollars
this year in the National Biodiesel Board, the trade organization of the
biodiesel industry, for soy biodiesel research and promotion. USB has also
invested over $3 million dollars during the last three years in its
Biobased Products Initiative, which reimburses several QSSBs for
short-term, state-based soy biodiesel and soy biobased product market
Annual biodiesel production has increased
from 500,000 gallons in 1999 to 30 million gallons in 2004, making it the
fastest growing alternative fuel in America. Approximately 500 major
fleets use the fuel nationwide. The biodiesel tax incentive that went into
effect January 1, 2005 is helping biodiesel demand to climb even more.
“The biodiesel incentive has been hugely successful in creating
demand during the last few months,” said Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) New
Uses Committee Chairman Greg Greving, a soybean farmer from Chapman, Neb.
“Extending that incentive beyond its two year period is the top priority
of the biodiesel industry. We also look to Congress to pass legislation
that will create a renewable fuels standard of eight billion gallons a
“Soy biodiesel is affordable, it adds lubricity to fuel and
it improves the performance of our diesel engines,” said Greving. “Perhaps
most important, every time we use home-grown biodiesel, we support U.S.
farmers, not foreign oil producers.”
Readers can learn more about
soy Biodiesel in Nebraska by visiting http://nesoybeans.unl.ed
Nebraska Soybean Board directors are responsible for administering
the state's share of the one-half of one percent national check-off on
soybeans produced in Nebraska. The funds are invested in research,
marketing and promotion projects for soybeans.
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