A new record was set for biodiesel production in Iowa during 2013. A report from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says 230-million gallons of biodiesel were made here last year, up about 25-percent from the previous year.
Association executive director Monte Shaw says biodiesel production rates have slowed now because of both action — and inaction — in Washington D.C. “Congress did allow the biodiesel tax credit to lapse at the end of 2013 and the EPA has proposed a really low number for biodiesel under the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard),” Shaw says. “Those two things have combined to really take the push out of using biodiesel. The market’s still trying to figure out what to do.”
Shaw says Iowa is in a good position to produce biodiesel because of all the feed stocks grown here. Plus, he notes, Iowa’s the nation’s top soybean producer and with new crushing facilities here, there’s plenty of soy oil available to use in the process. “We are #1 in pork production, top ten in beef production, we have a lot of chickens, we have a lot of rendering facilities so we have a lot of animal fats,” Shaw says. “We’re in a pretty good place for feed stocks.”
Shaw says the federal EPA needs to uphold Congressional intent and maintain a robust R-F-S for biodiesel of at least one-point-seven billion gallons for 2014.
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)