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Iowa Biodiesel Board asks for Obama's support during visit to state

May 23, 2012

Biodiesel growth plays critical role in president’s “all of the above” energy strategy

 

ANKENY, Iowa  –  Iowa biodiesel producers welcomed President Obama’s visit to Iowa this week and called on him to quickly finalize the EPA’s proposal to increase biodiesel production under the Renewable Fuel Standard next year.

 

“We couldn’t agree more that our nation needs to diversify our fuel supplies in order to limit our vulnerability to oil price spikes,” said Mark Cobb, Iowa Biodiesel Board chair, in a letter to President Obama Wednesday. “That’s why we’re writing to remind you that there is something this administration can do tomorrow, without waiting for Congress, to boost biodiesel production. Following through with the EPA’s proposal to increase biodiesel production under the Renewable Fuel Standard will help meet the goals you’ve set forth.”

 

“The nearly year-long delay in this proposal will cost our industry dearly, particularly here in Iowa – the leading biodiesel producer in the nation,” IBB executive director Randy Olson added. “By quickly finalizing the increase, the Administration would send a strong signal to the market and unleash millions of dollars in biodiesel investments that will create jobs and economic growth across the state, and the nation.”

 

The RFS and the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive helped stimulate record national biodiesel production last year of nearly 1.1 billion gallons. Iowa is the nation’s leading producer.  In 2011, the state’s plants produced about 175 million gallons of biodiesel, or one-sixth of the nation’s total production.  

 

Obama’s speech Thursday is to be delivered next door to a 30-million-gallon REG biodiesel plant in Newton that directly and indirectly supports hundreds of jobs.  Overall the state’s biodiesel industry supports more than 7,000 jobs. 

 

The Obama Administration has delayed since last fall approving the EPA proposal to increase the RFS requirement for biodiesel to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. The delay has come as the $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2011.

 

“Last year’s record biodiesel production proved that these policies are working,” Olson said. “They are stimulating the production of an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel that’s creating jobs and that is helping to diversify our fuel supplies so that we can limit our exposure to these oil price spikes.” 

 

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil.  The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.  

 

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