Illinois governor signs bill incentivizing higher blends of biodiesel
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law April 19 that incentivizes increasing blends of biodiesel. The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Patrick Joyce, D–Essex, and State Rep. Eva Dina Delgado, D–Chicago, extends the current B10 sales tax exemption until 2023 and then increases the biodiesel blend level subject to the tax exemption to B13 in 2024, B15 in 2025 and B19 in 2026.
“This hard-won victory is the result of Illinois Soybean Growers’ unrelenting collaboration with the bill sponsors Sen. Patrick Joyce and Rep. Eva Dina Delgado, numerous partners across agriculture, biofuels producers, transportation stakeholders and clean-air advocates who are all working to present a viable and immediate solution to combat carbon emissions in the transportation sector,” said Steve Pitstick, chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. “This legislation will not only significantly enhance the environmental benefits of biodiesel, but also lead to strengthened demand for this Illinois-grown renewable fuel by about 125 million gallons. This law further establishes Illinois as a leader in biofuel policy, which will improve air quality for millions of Illinoisans and fuel the Illinois economy. At ISA, we are incredibly proud of our entire team’s outreach, the engagement of our board, and the efforts of legislators in relentless pursuit of this positive legislation for agriculture.”
The legislation was spearheaded and guided through the legislative process by ISA with support from Clean Fuels Alliance America and several of its member companies, including Renewable Energy Group and Archer Daniels Midland. Clean Fuels CEO Donnell Rehagen applauded the effort and the collaborative nature of the work by those involved.
“This law continues to build on the biodiesel leadership that Illinois, through ISA, has demonstrated in the past,” Rehagen said. “This innovative tax exemption program in Illinois, which has been in place since 2003, has drawn hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel into the state. This modification, signed by Gov. Pritzker today, will expand that demand and solidify Illinois as a leading source and user of better, cleaner biodiesel.”
Floyd Vergara, Clean Fuels’ director of state regulatory affairs, added, “I am extremely proud of our team at Clean Fuels for the support they gave to the process. As we watched things unfold around this legislative effort, it was evident the coordination between all of the stakeholders was going to get this bill past all the hurdles. Kudos to ISA staff and board as well as our director of state regulatory affairs, Jeff Earl, and technical director, Scott Fenwick, for their hard work that led to this success.”
Illinois is currently fourth among all states in biodiesel production and third in consumption with 160 million gallons consumed annually. Efforts to pass this legislation were aided by the Trinity Health Benefits Study that included the city of Chicago. In Chicago, the study found that switching to B100 would decrease diesel particulate matter-related cancer risks by up to nearly 1,600 cases and result in more than 31,000 fewer or lessened asthma attacks per year and save more than $677 million per year in avoided health care costs.