War, what is it good for? went the lyric. We could almost substitute that with, ‘The ASA, what is it good for?’ Seemingly campaigning for the fact that all biofuel produced in the USA from US-grown soybeans is good, no matter what its life-cycle analysis or carbon footprint, and that all other biofuels are, at best okay (as long as they aren’t being sold in the US), or at worst rubbish/unfair/dirty/evil (delete as appropriate, but you get the idea…)
We’ve covered the row between the State of California and the rest of the US corn ethanol sector before, most recently on 7 February. The trading spats between the US biofuel industry and its Brazilian rival are well known, as are the ongoing accusations of dumping (both directly and via third countries) levelled at the country’s biofuel producers by the EU and a number of other countries.
Now though, in a blatant act of hypocrisy, the American Soybean Association is complaining about the EU RED (although this isn’t altogether new, as it comes round every 6 months or so…).
The RED inaccurately represents the greenhouse gas emissions reduction attributable to the use of biodiesel derived from U.S. soybeans, which would disqualify biodiesel from the EU’s biofuel use mandate and tax benefits provided by EU Member States. The RED also would require that U.S. soybeans and other biodiesel feedstocks be certified to have been produced in compliance with an arbitrary set of sustainability standards. This requirement fails to take into account the compliance of U.S. crop production systems with national conservation laws that meet or exceed the RED standards, and would severely disadvantage the competitiveness of U.S. soybean exports to the EU, says a letter written in response to requests to identify policies and measures to increase EU-US trade.
If the ASA really believes that, will it help the Malaysian Palm Oil Board lobby against the recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that biodiesel produced from palm oil will not qualify for the US renewable fuels scheme? I doubt it somehow!
Could this anger be due to increasing tough domestic markets? Probably.
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