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U.S. biodiesel production down compared with late 2011 surge

In the first two months of 2012, the United States biodiesel industry produced 135 million gallons of fuel, up from the same period last year but down from 160 million gallons in December.

The latest numbers released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate that from January and February 2011, production totaled less than 80 million gallons.

It is down from the record production late last year when the industry exceeded 100 million gallons per month for five consecutive months and reached a peak of 160 million gallons in December.

According to Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, the drop reflects lost momentum this year after Congress allowed the biodiesel tax incentive to expire and the Obama Administration delayed finalizing next year's biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

"These are solid numbers that show the biodiesel industry is on pace to meet the 1 billion gallon R.F.S. requirement this year, but they also reflect some of the missed opportunities for growth and jobs that we've seen with the loss of the tax credit and the continued uncertainty about next year's RFS volume," Ms. Steckel said. "With the tax credit and clear R.F.S. growth in place, we think these numbers would be better."

A record 1.1 billion gallons were produced last year, supporting more than 39,000 jobs across the U.S. – EcoSeed Staff

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