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Iowa takes another step towards mandating B5

Agriculture.com Staff 02/04/2010 @ 4:40pm

The Iowa legislature moved a step closer to requiring 5% biodiesel in all diesel sold in the state Thursday when a House Ways and Means subcommittee approved the bill in a 2 to 1 vote.

The Iowa Senate approved it last year and the bill has support in the House.

Thursday's 2 to 1 vote "happened to be along party lines. We know that the bill has bipartisan support," Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board told Agriculture.com Thursday. The two supporters in the subcommittee were Democrats and a Republican voted against it. The Iowa House currently has a Democratic majority.

Olson said that the legislation is important because it will fit in with a new rule released by the EPA Wednesday that will mandate the use of 1.15 biillion gallons of biodiesel nationally this year, under the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Olson said the biodiesel industry was very pleased that the EPA's analysis of biodiesel's greenhouse gas emissions showed that the fuel is more than 50% greener than diesel fuel. That means biodiesel can be counted as an advanced biofuel and it will be part of the mix of fuels as the nation ramps up to using 36 billion gallons of conventional and new biofuels by 2022.

"To meet the federal requirements, biodiesel will be blended where it is most cost-effective to the oil companies," Olson said. "But it will also be blended in states that have strong policies in place to create demand for biodiesel. Iowa must reclaim its leadership position in renewable energy."

The bill will now move forward to the full House Ways and Means Committee.

The Iowa legislature moved a step closer to requiring 5% biodiesel in all diesel sold in the state Thursday when a House Ways and Means subcommittee approved the bill in a 2 to 1 vote.

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