While biodiesel advocates go about setting up sustainability principles, the EU and the U.S. are in a growing dispute over the biofuel. The problem is that the Europeans see the $1-a-gallon tax credit that the U.S. provides for B99 (made up of 99 percent biodiesel and one percent petro-diesel) as an unfair subsidy that is harming the European biodiesel market. The EU's response: slap new (but temporary) tariffs on biodiesel imports from the U.S., maybe. The European Commission is looking into applying the tariffs, and should make a decision by March 13.
One of the big problems, according to an article in the Seattle TImes, is a practice called "splash and dash." This is when American producers import pure (that is, B100) biodiesel made somewhere else, add a bit of petro-diesel to the fuel and collect the tax credit and then ship the biodiesel to Europe. This has been going on for years. The Financial Times says that the American companies' practices are pushing biodiesel prices in Europe down by between 89 and 99 U.S. cents per gallon. The U.S.'s National Biodiesel Board says European comanies are "not being hurt by US competition," and wants the U.S. to take action against the EU through the World Trade Organization. Sigh.

[Source: Seattle TImes, Financial Times]
Photo by ??? Redvers. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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