Iowa soybean farmers, biodiesel producers urge action to expand biofuels access
The Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board are urging the passage of House File 2128, also known as the Governor’s Biofuel Access Bill. It would improve access to and incentivize the production of homegrown biodiesel in Iowa.
“It’s time to act,” said ISA President Robb Ewoldt, a soybean farmer near Davenport who uses biodiesel to grow crops and transport freight. “We’ve gone to great lengths over the past year to help the state revise its approach to expanding biofuels access and use. We’ve listened and modified the legislation. It’s time to come together and get this done.”
The Governor’s Biofuel Access Bill updates and expands both the Biodiesel Production Tax Credit and Biodiesel Fuel Tax Differential. The bill would also shift a current fuel retailer tax credit for blends of 11 percent biodiesel (B11) to encourage higher blends of biodiesel, introducing new credits for blends like B20 and B30. Additionally, it expands the state’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.
"These incentives will assist in increasing the production and usage of cleaner burning fuels like biodiesel,” Ewoldt said.
Iowa biodiesel production totaled nearly 340 million gallons in 2021.
“This policy would help Iowa remain the No. 1 biodiesel-producing state, which in turn helps create demand for Iowa’s soybean oil,” said Grant Kimberley, ISA senior director of market development and IBB executive director. “To continue increasing the demand for homegrown soy and keep Iowa’s 40,000 soybean farmers in a position to succeed, expanding access to biofuels is essential. We commend Gov. Reynolds for her leadership on this legislation.”
Kimberley noted that Iowa biodiesel and soybean leaders believe that if Iowa is going to ensure biodiesel remains a viable fuel option, it must stay competitive with other alternatives, particularly in states with low-carbon fuel policies.
Strong state policies also help the state’s 11 production facilities weather the uncertainty of federal policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard, Kimberley added, even as certain states ramp up low-carbon fuel efforts on their own.
“Iowa’s answer to the nationwide demand for low-carbon fuels is biodiesel,” Kimberley said. “We ask the House Ways and Means Committee to recognize that as our nation’s approach to energy evolves, our state can be front and center, and reap the benefits. This is an investment in Iowa’s economy that will help our state thrive for years to come.”