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Letter: Administration makes right decision on biodiesel

It may have slipped under the radar, but the Obama Administration should be commended for supporting strong domestic energy policy by boosting biodiesel production last week under the Renewable Fuel Standard. This decision will stimulate new biodiesel production and create jobs across the country, including right here in southwestern Minnesota.

As an incoming American Soybean Association director, I am very pleased this action was taken because it is something Minnesota's soybean farmers supported. But it's not just good for agriculture, biodiesel's success will benefit rural economies and Main Street businesses alike.

Biodiesel -- made from agricultural oils such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and other feedstocks -- is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to be produced on a commercial-scale nationwide. The administration's decision increases the amount of biodiesel that refiners must use to displace petroleum diesel next year to a total of 1.28 billion gallons (out of a U.S. diesel market of about 55 billion gallons).

This gives the biodiesel industry and its feedstock producers the certainty they need to boost production and invest in their operations. It also will diversify our fuel supplies so that we're not so dependent on global petroleum prices that are so damaging to our national security and economic growth.

With gas prices once again on the rise, this is exactly the kind of smart domestic energy policy we need for the future.