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Future scientific thought leaders implore EPA not to stifle career opportunities

Jan 31, 2014
College student leaders submit pro-RFS comments to EPA



Contact: Kaleb Little

JEFERSON CITY, Mo. – Four student leaders of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel have added their voices to a cry that biodiesel supporters hope the Environmental Protection Agency hears.

The students submitted original comments this week to EPA staff to express their concern about the proposed cuts to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The NGSB is a student organization designed to assist in the professional development of emerging science leaders with a passion for sustainability by offering opportunities to integrate with the biodiesel scientific community.

“We see your support as an investment in our future,” the co-chairs said in their formal comments. “As scientists, we can contribute to the sustainable growth of biodiesel and make it an even more valuable product for the nation’s fuel supply. Cutting the RFS will weaken our career prospects by introducing undue risk into the biodiesel industry.”

The comments went on to say, “Why do we strongly support renewables? Among other reasons, the process of petroleum and natural gas extraction entails drilling far into the ground, using a number of undisclosed chemicals and questionable methods, all the while hoping that the chemicals will not contaminate groundwater and endanger the public. In contrast, biofuels facilities are installed close to their feedstock sources; directly contribute to the growth of the local economies in which they exist; and operate with a much higher degree of environmental safety and responsibility.

“The RFS has been a highly successful piece of legislation thus far and we hope that you will allow it to continue to function as such moving into the future,” the comments concluded. “Our greatest hope is that the United States will remain the top producer of biofuels among any country, consistent with our tradition of excellence, creating opportunities for youth, and leading the world by example.”

The co-chairs of NGSB are:

  •  Bernardo del Campo, Iowa State University
  •  Dan Browne, Texas A&M University
  •  Deval Pandya, University of Texas – Arlington
  •  Morgan Curtis, Dartmouth College

The National Biodiesel Board program for students has led to increased communication and collaboration between the biodiesel industry and universities involved in biodiesel research.

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For more information, visit www.biodieselsustainability.com.