Newly introduced legislation threatens biofuels industry

by | Oct 23, 2020 | 5 Ag Stories, News, Uncategorized

Congressional leaders have introduced new legislation, which poses threat to Iowa’s biofuel producers and farmers.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and U.S Representative Mike Levin (D-CA 49th District) this week introduced the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2020.

Companion bills, S.1487 and H.R. 2764, would ?require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a zero-emission passenger vehicle standard.? Additionally, ?the standard would require 50-percent of sales for new passenger vehicles be zero-emission vehicles by 2025.?

Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director Grant Kimberley fears such bills ?do not recognize the value of biofuels: A technology that?s available today (at) minimal cost and has great emission reducing benefits.?

?We want to make sure this doesn?t get too far without correcting. We want to make sure people understand that biofuels have been proven, in the California Lower Carbon Fuel Program and Oregon Clean Fuel Standard Program, to have great carbon reducing benefits, and they are virtually drop-in technologies that are cost effective. Biofuels can be part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the environment,? Kimberley says.

The Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on Thursday sent a letter to Iowans running for a federal office to oppose the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2020, which has “far-reaching consequences for Iowa’s biofuel producers and farmers.”

“It would be absolutely devastating because half of the Iowa corn crop goes into the ethanol industry and about a third of the Iowa soybean oil crop goes into the biodiesel industry,” Kimberley says. “You would also see an increase in the feed cost because as we use more soybean oil for biodiesel, it lowers the price of soybean meal. The price for livestock producers would go up and that means the price for consumers would end up going up as well.”