Member Press Releases

Midwestern Governors Association urges automakers to support B20

Aug 01, 2012
Effort could clear the road for greater biodiesel usage

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– The Midwestern Governors Association has formally asked every major diesel engine and vehicle manufacturer to support the use of biodiesel blends of at least 20 percent (B20) in all diesel-powered equipment.

The Iowa Biodiesel Board praised the move as clearing the road for greater consumer access to cleaner burning biodiesel nationwide. The effort was championed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who serves as Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association.

“As Governors, we see increasing the use of biodiesel as an important part of diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” the MGA said in a letter sent to 23 automakers and Original Equipment Manufacturers. “We will continue to encourage policies that will expand consumer access to higher blends of biodiesel.”

Other reasons for the governors’ urging of B20 support outlined in the letter include:
  • More than 13 states, including the MGA states of Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, are encouraging use of higher biodiesel blends from B2–B20 through a variety of state policies. As biodiesel use grows in the marketplace, there are significant advantages to ensuring all diesel vehicles are compatible with higher blends.
  • The use of biodiesel blends in today’s clean diesel engines provides significant benefits to the environment, while also reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
  • The federal Renewable Fuels Standard-2 requires the use of higher levels of advanced biofuels over the next 10 years, and could eventually provide a market for biodiesel as high as 5 billion gallons per year. Biodiesel is the nation’s first commercial scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition as an advanced biofuel, and universal acceptance of B20 would help fulfill that RFS-2 requirement.

“This united call to action from 10 governors is an extraordinary show of support for B20, and we commend them for their bold leadership,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

According to the National Biodiesel Board, more than 65 percent of the diesel engine and vehicle manufacturers selling equipment in the U.S. already publicly support the use of B20 biodiesel blends.

“It is our firm belief that companies that support B20 will capture market share from those companies that choose not to support B20—especially in the Midwest,” the letter said.

MGA’s nine participating states are Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Home to 13 biodiesel plants, Iowa is the leading biodiesel producing state. In 2011, the state produced about 175 million gallons of biodiesel, an impressive one-sixth of the nation’s total production.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.

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Aug. 1, 2012

Contact: Jenna Higgins Rose, (573) 234-8935

For more about the Iowa Biodiesel Board, visit www.iowabiodiesel.org.