Biodiesel proponents lobby for high-blend exemption
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 5:00 am
By Gene Lucht Iowa Farmer Today | 0 comments
DES MOINES — Biodiesel proponents are watching the possibility of a gas-tax increase in Iowa with great interest.
“It (the fuel tax increase) is a possibility,” says Mark Cobb, a fuel marketer and chairman of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.
“We are just asking legislators that if that is talked about . . . that maybe they consider some type of exemption for fuels that are blended at a higher rate.”
The biodiesel industry recently kicked off an effort to increase the amount of biodiesel in fuel.
Presently, many companies use a 5-percent mix of biodiesel to regular diesel fuel. The industry is pushing a “B10 by 22” campaign.
Cobb says Illinois has a sales tax on gasoline that includes an exemption for anything over a B10 level.
“We realize that there has to be money for roads, and we support that,” Cobb quickly adds. “We’re not proposing anything of that magnitude (like the Illinois law).”
He notes a recent economic study indicating biodiesel supported nearly 5,000 jobs in the state in 2012 and contributed nearly $400 million to the state’s gross domestic product.
Cobb and others in the industry got a chance to talk to state lawmakers this past week when they held a Biodiesel on the Hill event in the Capitol.
“We’re really thanking the Legislature for their support over the past five or six years,” says Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.
“Our state’s citizens and lawmakers have supported biofuels, and that has allowed us in Iowa to become a leader in biofuel production.”
Olson says he also was encouraged President Barack Obama alluded to sustainable forms of energy during his recent State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.
Also, he says the industry continues to work to ensure the integrity of the renewable identification numbers in the industry.
“We think the industry is policing itself now,” Olson adds. “The integrity today is solid.”