US raises mandate for alternative diesel fuel usage

By RYAN TRACY

WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it would expand the federal mandate for using alternative diesel-engine fuels next year, providing a boost to an industry that has faced headwinds this year amid a federal fraud probe.

The agency said in a press release that it would expand the mandate to 1.28 billion gal in 2013, up from 1 billion gal in 2012. It was the same number the EPA had previously proposed.

Joe Jobe, CEO of the industry group National Biodiesel Board, said the decision “will allow biodiesel plants across the country to invest and expand, creating thousands of jobs” and “sends a strong signal that the US is standing firm behind its commitment to producing clean, American-made energy to strengthen our energy security and break our dependence on petroleum.”

The EPA enforces the fuel mandate by collecting paper credits representing gallons of fuel. Since late 2011, the agency has accused three small firms of producing invalid credits.

As a result, other small alternative-fuel producers have had trouble doing business with buyers who fear the EPA might identify more cases of alleged fraud.

The EPA has committed to changing its rules “as soon as possible in 2013” to ease the pressure on those producers.


Dow Jones Newswires

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