The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) responds to the recent recommendations issued by Auditor of the State Dave Yost that the Ohio Department of Transportation eliminate its legislatively-mandated use of biodiesel and switch back to 100% petroleum diesel to save money as shortsighted.
“OSA agrees that the state must be cost-effective, but we also believe that the full range of biodiesel benefits — economic, environmental and energy security — more than compensate for the minimal cost difference between the two fuels,” said Bret Davis, OSA president. “Instead of recommending the repeal of the state mandate, the Auditor could have recommended that the Ohio Department of Transportation look into ways to find cost savings in the program.”
The benefits of biodiesel are significant. Biodiesel creates hundreds of Ohio jobs at farms, production facilities and fuel distributors, and is a vital part of improving U.S. energy security. Every gallon of biodiesel used in Ohio displaces a gallon of petroleum — reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
The environmental benefits of using biodiesel are also impressive. After extensive review from the U.S. EPA, it was determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent as compared to petroleum diesel and decreases particulate matter — a serious health hazard — by 47%. It also reduces cancer-causing emissions by more than 80 percent compared to regular diesel.
All of these factors must be taken into consideration in response to Auditor’s Yost’s recommendations — a short-term fix for long-term economic, energy security and environmental challenges. To revise the state mandate would be counterproductive.