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Iowa Biodiesel, Soybean Groups Give Fuel Act Seal Of Approval

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The Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Soybean Association have commended the Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act, which allows biodiesel used in ocean vessels to be eligible for Renewable Identification Number credits under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS program hopes to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while expanding the United States’ renewable fuels sector, decreasing the nation’s dependence on imported oil.

 Photo Courtesy Iowa Biodiesel

The act works by adding “fuel for ocean-going vessels” to the “additional renewable fuel” section of the federal Clean Air Act, essentially treating marine applications identical to home heating oil and jet fuel. Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and California Rep. John Garamendi introduced the bipartisan bill.

“By some estimates, sustainable marine fuel is poised to cross $325 billion by 2036, and it’s in everyone’s interest that soybean farmers and biodiesel producers capture some of that value,” Suzanne Shirbroun, Iowa Soybean Association president, said in a statement.

“When farmers participate in the energy market through greater demand for soybean oil, the farm economy becomes diversified and stronger.” 

“We thank Rep. Miller-Meeks for having the foresight to encourage the blue-water marine fleet to use biodiesel in its fuel, which will reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality around ports while strengthening the farm economy,” she continued.

Photo Courtesy Iowa Soybean Association

The Iowa Soybean Association delivers increased soybean demand through farmer-focused research and results. It founded the Iowa Biodiesel Board to promote biodiesel’s commercial and economic success across the Hawkeye State with representation from the biodiesel industry and farmers. Each strongly supports a more sustainable, economically viable move toward green energy. 

With international shipping using 2.3 billion gallons of U.S. distillate fuel each year, it’s clear the move toward biodiesel and renewable diesel can lead to immediate carbon reductions in the sector.

Photo Courtesy Alternative Fuels Data Center

“We applaud Rep. Miller-Meeks for taking a leadership role in making this important, common-sense fix to the RFS,” Grant Kimberely, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said in a statement. “The commitments to decarbonizing the transportation sector are the strongest we’ve ever seen, and that includes the marine industry.”  

“We all have an interest in encouraging ocean-going vessels to reduce the marine industry’s greenhouse gas impact through the use of biodiesel,” he continued.

Both organizations hope the passage of the Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act will help increase the farm economy by lowering shipping costs and stabilizing costs. This effort, in turn, can strengthen the soybean economy across the state and put more money in farmers’ pockets.

And the impact will stretch far beyond the fields of Iowa by cleaning up the air, water, and soil worldwide. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, international shipping accounts for around 3% of global GHG emissions. This act may be a step in the right direction toward net-zero emissions for all.


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