Biodiesel Implementation Earns Praise from Illinois Soybean Association
Biodiesel Implementation Earns Praise from Illinois Soybean Association

Biodiesel Implementation Earns Praise from Illinois Soybean Association

  • 02-Apr-2024 7:13 PM
  • Journalist: Peter Schmidt

On April 1st, the enactment of a bipartisan bill aimed at encouraging the utilization of higher blends of biodiesel officially commenced. Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Chairman Ron Kindred, alongside other advocates, hails this new legislation as a groundbreaking statute with wide-ranging benefits for the people of Illinois and the state's environment.

Ron Kindred, a soybean farmer hailing from Atlanta in central Illinois, expresses the significance of this milestone law for soybean farmers and the entire state. He emphasizes that this bill demonstrates the unity of the entire state in supporting an initiative with multiple advantages for citizens and the environment. Kindred projects that the implementation of this bill will create a new demand equivalent to approximately 90-100 million gallons of soybean oil annually, or about 65-70 million bushels of soybeans, once the B20 blend is fully adopted.

Kindred acknowledges the collaborative effort involved in achieving this remarkable milestone, which brings Illinois to the forefront of renewable fuels leadership. He commends the unwavering commitment of the primary sponsors of the B20 Bill, Rep. Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago) and Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Kankakee), who co-chair the Illinois Sustainable Fuels Caucus. Additionally, Kindred appreciates the leadership of the bill’s lead Republican sponsor, Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville).

Rep. Delgado expresses pride in sponsoring this law, highlighting its potential to boost the local economy and enhance the environment. She underscores the positive impact of transitioning semi-trucks to B20, which significantly reduces particulate matter and CO2 emissions, particularly in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by pollutants. Rep. Meier underscores the law's role in supporting Illinois soybean farmers in the biofuel market, creating jobs, and generating revenue for the state, while also significantly reducing emissions compared to traditional diesel fuel.

Sen. Joyce elaborates on the mechanism within the B20 law, which involves a sales tax exemption aimed at driving greater demand for biodiesel. This exemption substantially reduces the price of biodiesel blends, attracting business to Illinois and benefiting farmers and residents, particularly near industrial corridors.

Kindred further explains that the B20 bill elevates the standard for biodiesel use by increasing the minimum biodiesel blend level eligible for tax exemption. Starting April 1, 2024, the eligible fuel mixture will rise from the current B11 to B14, ensuring that a larger proportion of biodiesel sold in Illinois is derived from domestically produced, renewable vegetable oil, primarily soybeans.

In the ensuing years, the minimum biodiesel blend levels eligible for tax exemption will further increase to 17% and 20%. Biodiesel serves as a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional diesel, significantly enhancing air quality and mitigating transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

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