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Iowa biodiesel industry asks EPA to embrace biodiesel’s full potential at hearing

June 9, 2016

(ANKENY, Iowa) – Members and staff from the Iowa Biodiesel Board asked the Environmental Protection Agency today to increase biodiesel usage under a federal program designed to stimulate American use of renewable fuel.

The EPA is holding a hearing in Kansas City on its proposed renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. In biodiesel’s primary RFS category, “biomass-based diesel,” EPA has proposed increasing from 2 billion gallons in 2017 to just 2.1 billion gallons in 2018. 

Several Iowa biodiesel plant representatives testified, as well as Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association. Each asked the EPA to set a final rule of at least 2.5 billion gallons for 2018.

“Embracing biodiesel at its full potential is a perfect example of where different goals for the greater good can intersect,” Kimberley said. “Not only does biodiesel improve Greenhouse Gas reductions, it also makes us more diversified in our energy supply, and it makes our nation’s critical farm economy stronger.”

Iowa is the nation’s top biodiesel producer. In 2015, Iowa’s 12 operating biodiesel plants produced a record 242 million gallons of biodiesel. The industry supported more than 3,000 jobs and contributed almost $345 million in GDP for the year. More demand for biodiesel will fuel the industry’s growth, benefiting America’s farmers and economy, Kimberley said.   

“Making farmers stronger makes our country’s food supply stronger…something we would never want to jeopardize,” he said. 

Kimberley also noted that Iowa’s biodiesel usage shows that B5 (five percent biodiesel) is a starting point, not a limit. 

“Iowa is an example of a state where higher blends of biodiesel are becoming the norm, thanks in part to state policies that encourage petroleum distributors to carry biodiesel blends above B5,” he said. “According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, the average blend last year was about 9 percent biodiesel, and we expect the common blend to be B10 and higher in the next few years in Iowa and other Midwestern states. There is really no such thing as a B5 blend wall.”

Producer members testifying included Ag Processing, Inc., Renewable Energy Group, Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Western Iowa Energy.   

The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a nonpartisan state trade association representing the biodiesel industry. For full testimony, visit IBB’s website. 

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