As oil prices rise and dependence on foreign oil continues to present a major issue for national security, the renewable energy industry has provided many innovations and positive developments in American power. Chief among these is the development of biodiesel, more than half of which is made from American soy. Producing a record 1.1 billion gallons in 2011, the biodiesel industry provides a valuable market for soybean farmers while creating a surplus of soybean meal that, in turn, lowers the price of animal feed. Tools like the Renewable Fuel Standard and the Biodiesel Tax Incentive ensure that this industry is allowed to continue to competitively produce clean, renewable American fuel, generate thousands of jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. How would your administration protect the ability of the biodiesel industry to remain viable?
We must invest in a clean energy economy that will lead to new jobs, new businesses, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I recently announced a new goal of cutting oil imports in half by the end of the decade. Developing the next generation of biofuels will help us achieve this goal, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil will help create millions of new jobs that can't be outsourced. We are already making progress. U.S. biofuel production is at its highest level in history. Last year, rural America produced enough renewable fuels to meet roughly 8% of our needs, helping us increase our energy independence to its highest level in 20 years. And a higher renewable fuel standard is boosting an industry that supports 39,000 jobs and ensuring its continued growth.
I have a plan to achieve North American energy independence by 2020, and biofuels will play a role in enabling us to achieve that goal. I believe that all of our energy resources are and should continue to be a source of long-term competitive advantage for our nation. My policies broadly aim to ensure that all of our energy industries can sustainably become competitive, innovative and efficient. I support biofuels, as well as the RFS and would seek to eliminate the regulatory barriers to a diversification of our fuel system.