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ILLINOIS SOYBEAN ASSN PRAISES IMPLEMENTATION OF HIGHER BLENDS OF BIODIESEL REGS
Source: Illinois Soybean Association news release

Bloomington, Ill., - Implementation of a bipartisan bill to encourage the use of higher blends of biodiesel takes effect on Monday, April 1. Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Chairman Ron Kindred and other supporters call the new law a landmark statute that will benefit all Illinoisians as well as the state's environment.

"This is a significant milestone law for Illinois soybean farmers, but it also shows how the whole state can come together around an issue with multiple benefits for all our citizens and the environment," said Kindred, a soybean farmer from Atlanta, located in central Illinois.

"Our estimates indicate this bill creates new demand for an average of 90-100 million gallons of soybean oil or the equivalent of about 65-70 million bushels of soybeans annually once B20 is fully implemented," he added. "This momentous achievement elevates Illinois to the pinnacle of renewable fuels leadership, and it represents a giant leap toward a more sustainable future that starts on Illinois farms. This was a total team effort involving numerous partners across political parties, agriculture, biofuels production, transportation, and clean air advocacy."

Kindred praised the extraordinary commitment of the primary sponsors of the B20 Bill, Rep. Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago) and Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Kankakee). Delgado and Joyce co-chair the Illinois Sustainable Fuels Caucus. Kindred also credited the leadership of the bill's lead Republican sponsor, Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville).

"I am proud to have sponsored this new law that will simultaneously help the local economy and improve our environment," said Rep. Delgado. "Each semi-truck that transitions to B20 will reduce particulate matter and lower CO2 emissions in neighborhoods that are disproportionally impacted by pollutants. Transitioning a semi to B20 is the equivalent of taking 5.5 passenger vehicles off the road."

Rep. Meier said, "This new law will help Illinois soybean farmers continue to be leaders in the biofuel market, creating jobs and revenue for Illinois. Encouraging the use of a higher percentage of biodiesel blends will help reduce emissions up to 74% compared to normal diesel fuel."

Sen. Joyce explained that a sales tax exemption is the mechanism in the B20 law that drives greater biodiesel demand.

"This sales tax exemption substantially reduces the price of more environmentally friendly biodiesel blends, which attracts business to our state benefitting Illinois farmers and residents alike--especially near the industrial I-80 and I-57 corridors," Sen. Joyce said. "This bipartisan law will make the diesel pool the most environmentally friendly in the Midwest using soybeans grown right here in Illinois."

Allied groups, such as the American Lung Association, also are applauding the bill's passage.

"Increasing the biodiesel blend available in Illinois from 11% to 20% over the next few years marks a significant step in the right direction for our state," said Bailey Arnold, the American Lung Association's Director of Clean Air Initiatives. "The shift to higher blends will lower tailpipe pollutants and drastically reduce carbon emissions across the transportation sector, leading to better air quality and a healthier environment for all Illinoisans."

ISA's Kindred further explained that the B20 bill raises the bar on biodiesel use by increasing the minimum biodiesel blend level eligible for tax exemption. Starting April 1, 2024, the eligible fuel mixture will jump from the current B11 to B14. This means 14% of every gallon of biodiesel sold in Illinois between April 1 and Nov. 30 will be derived largely from domestically produced, renewable vegetable oil, with soybeans being the top contributor by far.

In subsequent years, the minimum biodiesel blend levels eligible for a tax exemption jump to 17% and 20%. Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional diesel, significantly improving air quality and mitigating the impact of transportation-related greenhouse gases.

About Illinois Soybean Association

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org and www.ilsoygrowers.com.


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