Extend the Biodiesel Fuel Credit

I had the privilege of joining members of the Iowa Biodiesel Board on Feb. 16 as they talked with Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds about the benefits of extending Iowa’s Biodiesel Blended Fuel Credit.

Unless the Iowa Legislature takes action this session, retailers’ incentive to make biodiesel available at the pumps will end.  This Biodiesel Blended Fuel Credit prompts many retailers to offer the product, so members of the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) met last Wednesday at the Statehouse to ask state leaders for their continued support.

I had the privilege of joining them at the Statehouse as they communicated the following points:

  • Based on 2010 numbers, Iowa biodiesel generated an estimated $14 million in tax revenue and 1,100 full-time equivalent jobs in all sectors of the state economy.
  • Iowa has 15 biodiesel plants capable of producing 325 million gallons of biodiesel.  Several of the state’s plants are experiencing an increase in sales this year, primarily due to federal energy policies that have created a strong market for biodiesel.
  • Other states like Minnesota and Illinois are positioned to capture a majority of the nation’s biodiesel market because they have requirements, tax exemptions and producer credits that make their state’s biodiesel industries extremely competitive.

“If we want Iowa to be the renewable energy capital of the world, the key is to create local markets here at home to help our plants keep running,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.  “We appreciate Governor Branstad’s supportive words and look forward to working with him on legislation.”

In addition to renewing the biodiesel fuel credit, the IBB is asking state legislators and the Governor to support an increase in the minimum content of biodiesel.  Biodiesel sold in Iowa can contain as little as 2% blend, so the IBB would like to raise this floor.