The American Soybean Association (ASA) is urging all U.S. soybean producers, their family members, and agribusinesses to voice concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule on the implementation of the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS-2) before next week’s Sept. 25 deadline for comments.

The EPA’s proposed rule on RFS-2 implementation is significantly flawed and would do unnecessary harm to the competitive position of the U.S. soy biodiesel industry.

"If you have a vested interest in the future profitability of soybeans, please take a minute to send a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson," said ASA President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn. "A loss of the domestic biodiesel market would significantly decrease prices paid to U.S. farmers for their soybeans."

ASA is providing an easy to use online form at www.soygrowers.com/policy/RFS2.htm, where people can read a prepared letter, add personal contact information, and submit comments with the click of a button.

ASA and its 25 state affiliates successfully lobbied Congress to establish the biodiesel tax incentive, and most recently to extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2009. Biodiesel sales grew from 75 million gallons in 2005 to 450 million gallons in 2007, and to 690 million gallons in 2008. According to a new study, U.S. soybean farmers received an additional $2.5 billion in net returns over the last four years due to the biodiesel industry’s demand for soybean oil. This demand added up to 25 cents in support for the per-bushel price of soybeans.

"As EPA’s proposed rule is written, soy biodiesel would no longer qualify under the specific federal mandate for biomass-based diesel use," Dodson said. "With the future of the U.S. biodiesel industry at stake, farmers need to get involved right now by voicing their opposition to the proposed rule."

ASA expresses thanks to the hundreds of soybean farmers and individuals who have already submitted comments. However, to make an impact on EPA, a much greater grassroots response is needed.