On Friday, Nov. 15 the EPA released its draft proposal for the 2014 RFS Required Volume Obligations (RVO). The rule, which establishes the amount of biofuels that obligated parties must utilize for 2014 and the amount of biomass-based diesel for 2014 and 2015, proposes a biomass-based diesel RVO of 1.28 billion gallons, less than the amount produced by the industry in 2013. EPA also proposed reducing the total advanced biofuels requirements, further limiting the opportunities for biodiesel.The ASA expressed concern and disappointment with the proposal and the fact that the biomass-based diesel levels for 2014 and 2015 would be reduced below the amount actually produced in 2013. The level set forth in the proposal will stifle the growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry over the past several years and would likely result in less soybean oil used for biodiesel production in 2014 and 2015. Biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production and the industry has met or exceeded the RFS requirements each year they have been in place.ASA will continue to work with EPA and industry partners to demonstrate the flaws represented by this proposal and looks forward to achieving a final rule that does not hinder the momentum and positive economic benefits generated by biodiesel.Once posted in the Federal Register, the proposal will be subject to a 60-day public comment period that will include a public hearing scheduled for Dec. 5 in Washington, DC.ASA representatives have participated in meetings in recent weeks with senior Administration officials and members of Congress, and ASA board member and biodiesel representative Mike Cunningham (Illinois) will be testifying at the public hearing on December 5. ASA will also submit written comments to EPA and coordinate additional activities and input to impact the final rule.