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Source: Iowa Biodiesel Board news release

Today is National Biodiesel Day, and Iowa has reason to celebrate. Iowa is the No. 1 producer of biodiesel, a cleaner-burning fuel that generates economic activity, supports Iowa jobs, and makes us more energy independent.

Iowa's entire Congressional Delegation recently signed on to an effort to help expand the national use of biodiesel, a move applauded by the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of 60 members of Congress signed letters to the White House, urging the Obama Administration to follow through with a modest increase in the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed increasing the national biodiesel volumes to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013, up from 1 billion gallons in 2012. Signing the letters were the entire Iowa delegation - Sen. Charles Grassley (R), Sen. Tom Harkin (D), Rep. Leonard Boswell (D), Rep. Tom Latham (R), Rep. Bruce Braley (D), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D), and Rep. Steve King (R).

Despite record biodiesel production last year, Iowa's plants have room to grow within their existing capacity. With smart growth of the RFS, these plants could support even more green jobs.

"The fuel price swings we've seen should remind us of the very reason why Congress enacted the RFS," said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. "This is an extraordinarily effective policy that diversifies our energy supplies and limits our exposure to price spikes, while supporting green jobs at home."

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products like soybean oil.

"Biodiesel also provides the trucking industry a great alternative to high-priced diesel," Olson said.

Rudolf Diesel, who invented the engine that bears his name, ran early models on peanut oil. He was a visionary for the renewable fuel that would one day be called biodiesel. That's why the biodiesel industry decided to honor Diesel by making his birthday, March 18, National Biodiesel Day.

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