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Public Opinion: Iowans Remain Positive on Biodiesel, RFS

September 14, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa –  About 72 percent of Iowa voters have a positive opinion on biodiesel, according to new public opinion research released by the Iowa Biodiesel Board. Enjoying similar levels of support is the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires oil companies to blend modest amounts of biofuels (71 percent supporting), and pro-biodiesel state policies (72 percent supporting).
The results were presented during the Iowa Biodiesel Board and National Biodiesel Board Annual Regional Meeting, Sept. 13 – 14 in Des Moines. 

“I am encouraged and grateful that Iowans continue to strongly support biodiesel and biodiesel policies – we can’t be successful without it,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of IBB. “Our Congressional delegation clearly recognizes this, and we hope other state and national elected leaders will also pay attention to what matters to Iowans.” 

Equally as telling as the high positive opinion numbers on biodiesel is that only three percent had a negative opinion, Kimberley said. 
When asked the question, “Assuming you had a diesel vehicle that could use biodiesel, would you choose a biodiesel blend over petroleum diesel?” About 86 percent of Iowans said "yes" or "probably yes."

In addition, looking specifically at survey respondents who said they use diesel fuel, nearly all diesel users (96%) would choose a biodiesel blend over petroleum diesel. 

“That means the majority of Iowans are interested in using biodiesel, which we hope will encourage more petroleum marketers to incorporate biodiesel into their marketing signage,” Kimberley said. “Our progressive state policies make biodiesel more available and very cost-competitive in Iowa, so making sure Iowans know where to find it is the next hurdle.” 
IBB commissioned the public opinion research with Moore Information, which conducted online interviews with 460 registered voters statewide in August. 

Read the executive summary

Also at the annual meeting, Tom Brooks, general manager of biodiesel producer Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley, Iowa, was re-elected to lead the organization for the next year. 
Officers of the organization are:

  • Chair: Tom Brooks, Western Dubuque Biodiesel (re-elected)
  • Vice Chair: Brad Wilson, Western Iowa Energy (re-elected)
  • Treasurer: Reed Herzig, Monsanto (newly elected) 
  • Secretary: Dawn Carlson, Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (re-elected)

Biodiesel is made from a diverse mix of resources. These include recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats. According to ABF Economics, the industry supports about 3,800 jobs and $300 million of household income in Iowa.   

The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.

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