All new state-owned vehicles must be able to accommodate 20 percent biodiesel
By Diego Flammini
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an executive order designed to help the state’s farmers and its biofuels sector.
All new contracts for state-owned diesel vehicles, including cars, trucks and snowplows, must be purchased from engine manufacturers that can accommodate at least 20 per cent biodiesel, Reynolds announced at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
“Ethanol and biodiesel remain essential to the health of the agricultural economy, sustainable environmental commitments and employ thousands of Iowans,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I am proud to stand alongside Iowa Farm Bureau and key stakeholders in the renewable fuels industry to secure the continued demand for biofuels.”
Iowa leads the U.S. in biodiesel production.
The state’s 11 biodiesel facilities produced 365 million gallons in 2018 and have the capacity to produce 400 million gallons annually, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said.
The industry also supports nearly 5,000 jobs and contributes US$568 million to the state’s gross domestic product.
Additionally, the executive order comes at a time when farmers are facing financial challenges.
“Farm income is at one of its all-time lows and ensuring the full acceptance of higher blends of biodiesel can only help offset those struggles,” Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and the Iowa Soybean Association’s director of market development, said in a statement. “I’m proud that our state and governor feel so strongly about biodiesel that they’re willing to take this kind of stand.”
Other states have certain biofuel requirements too.
In Minnesota, for example, diesel fuel sold between April and September must contain at least 20 per cent biodiesel.
Farms.com has reached out to Iowa farmers for comment on the executive order.
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting.
Joseph L. Muprhy/Iowa Soybean Association photo