Biodiesel supporters 'share the love' at Iowa Capitol

By The Iowa Biodiesel Board | February 14, 2018

On Valentine’s Day, members and supporters of the Iowa Biodiesel Board took to the state Capitol building to proclaim the virtues of biodiesel, and to ask leaders to fight for programs that keep biodiesel at the heart of economic development. IBB leadership met with state legislators and Gov. Kim Reynolds at the annual Biodiesel Day on the Hill.

“I heart biodiesel” pins could be spotted throughout the Capitol, as the group celebrated the Feb. 14 event date to spread the message of just how much biodiesel gives back to Iowa. 

“We love that Iowa is the top biodiesel-producing state, and we’re grateful that the feeling seems to be mutual,” said Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director. “Our proactive state biodiesel policies have driven increased production and consumption in Iowa, benefiting our economy—which means jobs for Iowans and enhanced success for farmers.”

The state tax incentives encourage biodiesel production and sales, and the group is asking legislators and the governor to protect them during tight budget times. 

Another IBB legislative priority is to see the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program continue to be fully funded. The program provides “match-making” grants to help fuel distributors and retailers modernize equipment to include biofuels. 

“Iowa is fortunate to have many retailers saying yes to renewable fuels, and the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program has helped support the investment they are making,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, who stopped by the event. “Since 2006, just over $30 million in state funding and a $5 million federal investment has helped spur an estimated $138.8 million in private investment.”

Since the program began, more than 500 retail stations and terminals carry biodiesel, giving all Iowans greater access to the American fuel. 

In 2017, Iowa’s biodiesel plants produced an estimated 285 million gallons of biodiesel. According to a study by ABF Economics, biodiesel activity in Iowa generated about 3,800 full-time equivalent jobs and contributed $278 million in household income.

Kimberley noted that while federal programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard have driven biodiesel’s success nationwide, it’s the states with the strongest policies that help determine who plays the biggest role in production, and who captures the resulting economic benefits. 

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and coproducts, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.

 
 
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