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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Iowa governor introduces bill for minimum B20 biodiesel standard by 2024

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Photo: Jenna Higgins Rose, Iowa Biodiesel Board

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds introduced a bill, HSB 185, Feb. 8 to the Iowa Legislature that would set a minimum percentage of biodiesel required in the state’s diesel fuel pool, with limited exceptions. The minimum biodiesel content established in the bill is 11 percent (B11) beginning in April 2022. Come 2024, this would increase to a minimum of 20 percent (B20) biodiesel. Both minimums would only be required in the warmer months (April 15-Sept. 30). In the colder months (Oct. 1-April 14), the minimum requirement would revert back to 5 percent.

“Setting a standard for widespread use of higher blends of biodiesel in Iowa would be positive for Iowa’s economy, environment and rural communities—and would improve the quality of the fuel supply overall,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director for the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “We see a seismic shift in the nation’s energy supply already in motion, and the approach to encourage additional production and use of biofuels to reduce carbon while improving the economy is tried and true. As the nation’s top biodiesel producer, Iowa should stay in the forefront of these forward-thinking changes.”

The bill also adds $5 million from the general fund for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program on top of $5 million from the separate Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund called for in the governor’s budget proposal. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, reforms in the bill that reduce the cost of existing biofuels tax credits more than offset the increase in RFIP funding, leaving tens of millions of additional tax dollars in the state’s general fund over the next five years.

Monte Shaw, IRFA executive director, said, “Passage of this bill would be a major win for farmers, retailers, consumers, and our environment. Too often Iowa farmers are at the whims of federal policy flip-flops and fickle foreign trade. This legislation would create a growing market for biofuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, and thereby provide a stable and reliable market for Iowa farmers.”

Jeff Jorgenson, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said, “We applaud Gov. Reynolds for her steadfast leadership on pro-biodiesel initiatives. The homegrown fuel is a key domestic market for Iowa soybean oil, adding value to every bushel of soybeans produced in the state. We look forward to learning more about the governor’s call for legislation. Iowa soybean farmers stand ready to work with her and the Iowa legislature on advancing renewable fuel policies. By working together, we can grow demand for Iowa soybeans and provide significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities.”

A 2020 report by the Iowa Department of Revenue showed that 58 percent of all on-road diesel fuel in Iowa in 2019 already contained biodiesel blends of 11 percent or higher.

Click here to view HSB 185.



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