Chad Smith, NAFB News Service
The American Soybean Association jumped into the debate over the 52 gap-year, small refinery exemption requests currently before the Environmental Protection Agency. They’re asking the agency to immediately reject the pending retroactive small refinery exemption petitions and to “stand with U.S. soybean growers in support of the Renewable Fuels Standard.” In a letter this week to EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler, the ASA is asking him to apply the U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit’s ruling on exemptions to small refineries whose temporary exemptions has lapsed earlier, to all pending SRE petitions, including the 52 retroactive ones recently posted to the agency’s dashboard. Those requests date all the way back to 2011. “The approval of these gap filings would deal a devastating blow to soybean farmers and biodiesel producers by stifling demand for biodiesel,” says ASA President Bill Gordon, a soybean grower from Worthington, Minnesota. “Simply put, protecting the RFS is a priority of our organization. We strongly urge you to consider the perspective of the soybean farmer as EPA addresses this gap-filing issue.” Biodiesel is a critical market for soybean farmers, providing value for surplus soy oil that’s a co-product of soybean protein meal.