Iowa officials campaign for biodiesel

By Nicholas Zeman | January 19, 2010
Posted January 27, 2010

Biofuels producers combine to make up an $8 billion dollar industry in Iowa and support about 80,000 jobs, but they're suffering. "With volatile oil prices, the global credit crunch and the lapse of the federal biodiesel tax incentive, almost half of the state's biodiesel plants have gone idle or have already closed their doors," the Iowa Biodiesel Board said on Jan. 21, the same day Gov. Chet Culver was in Washington testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on extending the tax incentive.

"This is an exciting time for our country and we have to keep these industries alive that have had a positive environmental and economic influence on our country," Culver, chair of the Governor's Biofuels Coalition, said.

Also, on Jan. 21, Randy Olson testified before the Iowa's House Transportation Committee in Des Moines, to discuss the Iowa Biodiesel Fuel Quality standard measure, which passed the state senate last year and would require petroleum companies to blend a modest five percent biodiesel into the state's diesel fuel, the IBB said.

"The B5 initiative will save our state's green jobs," Olson said. "It would create demand for 45 million gallons of Iowa-made biodiesel a year, reducing our dependence on foreign oil by a corresponding amount."
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