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Illinois biodiesel blend law goes into effect

Illinois Soybean Association praises bipartisan bill promoting higher biodiesel blends.

Gas Pump E15 Blend Pixabay

Illinois is set to become a leader in renewable fuels with the implementation of a bipartisan bill promoting higher biodiesel blends, starting April 1. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and other advocates are hailing this as a landmark law, offering widespread benefits for both the state's economy and environment.

Ron Kindred, ISA Chairman and a soybean farmer, emphasized the law's significance, stating, “This bill not only benefits Illinois soybean farmers but also unites the state around multiple benefits for all citizens and the environment.” He estimates that the law will create demand for an average of 90-100 million gallons of soybean oil annually, equivalent to about 65-70 million bushels of soybeans, once B20 is fully implemented.

Key supporters of the B20 Bill include Rep. Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago) and Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Kankakee), co-chairs of the Illinois Sustainable Fuels Caucus, and Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville). “This new law will help Illinois soybean farmers continue to be leaders in the biofuel market, creating jobs and revenue for Illinois,” Rep. Meier stated.

The law is expected to reduce emissions up to 74% compared to regular diesel, with each semi-truck transitioning to B20 equivalent to removing 5.5 passenger vehicles from the road. Sen. Joyce highlighted that a sales tax exemption will make biodiesel blends more cost-effective, attracting business and benefiting local farmers and residents.

The American Lung Association also supports the bill, with Bailey Arnold, the Director of Clean Air Initiatives, acknowledging the positive impact on air quality and the environment. The B20 bill gradually increases the minimum biodiesel blend level eligible for tax exemption, starting with B14 in 2024, then moving to B17, and eventually reaching B20 in subsequent years.

This initiative marks a major step towards sustainable transportation and showcases Illinois’ commitment to a cleaner and healthier environment.

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