Iowa B5 legislation alive and well

By Nicholas Zeman | February 23, 2010
Posted March 3, 2010

Despite reports from various media outlets that the Iowa Biodiesel Board called "erroneous," the bill that would mandate 5 percent biodiesel blending in Iowa's diesel pool, Senate File 464, is still "alive and well," said Randy Olson, director of the IBB.

With the RFS2 now in place, Olson said biodiesel will be used by oil companies in states that have requirements, because these drive infrastructure development.

He testified before the House Agriculture Committee on March 1 in favor of the proposed Iowa Biodiesel Fuel Quality Standard measure. The measure, which passed the State Senate last year with bipartisan support and now awaits passage in the House, would ensure that petroleum companies blend at least 5 percent biodiesel (B5) into the state's diesel fuel.

As the legislation gets closer to a vote, some fierce bickering has ensued.

Decker Trucking, which participated in the Two Million Mile Haul-a biodiesel performance study that included carriers, OEMs and biodiesel producers and reported positive results-has reportedly changed its stance on biodiesel now that a mandate looms. Decker told Biodiesel Magazine in 2007 that it was going to help promote the use of biodiesel in the trucking industry, and that it had used the fuel with positive results.

"The main thing is we need to get credible information out there to the people [of the fleet industry and media], and not just the rumors or false information that has been circulating in the market," said Dale Decker in the 2007 article. "We're going to get [the information] out there and tell people what we're actually finding. Once people get our truthful and accurate information from our test to make a decision, it's a no-brainer."

The firm nevertheless sent a very negative letter to the Iowa Motor Trucking Association last month, saying that biodiesel did not perform well in cold weather, that its lubricating benefits were minimal and that the fuel was not cost effective. Renewable Energy Group Inc. of Ames, Iowa, which also participated in the Two Million Mile Haul, put out a letter Tuesday that catalogued all of the positive comments Decker has made in support of biodiesel in recent years, asking "What's Changed?"
 
 
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