BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) recently testified in the joint Illinois Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee hearing on the Governor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Revenue Changes. They reasserted their opposition to the elimination of biodiesel policy that has resulted in cleaner air for Illinoisians, promoted energy independence, and strengthened the agricultural economy.
“As a farmer who understands that there are markets around the world for soybeans, I am always reminded of the value that biodiesel has right here at home. Biodiesel adds value to my farm, my community, and my state,” said ISG Chairman, Doug Schroeder, a soybean and corn farmer from Mahomet, Ill. “We understand Illinois’ dire budget situation and are willing to negotiate in good faith to bring revenue to the state, promote Illinois’ economy, and improve air quality by transitioning from a tax exemption based approach to a new biodiesel standard, like HB 229 and SB 2394.”
The latest statistics from the State of Illinois show that around 1.3 billion of the approximately 1.7 billion total gallons of diesel sold retail in Illinois in fiscal year 2019 contained at least 10 percent biodiesel, which means 74 percent of diesel sold is taking advantage of the tax exemption. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel produces 78 percent less carbon dioxide than petroleum-based diesel fuel. As a result, the approximated 162 million gallons of pure biodiesel blended into diesel in 2019 reduced carbon dioxide emissions by around 3.5 billion pounds. Transitioning a semi-truck from driving on petroleum-based diesel to B20, a blend containing 20 percent biodiesel, full time, equates to removing 5.5 passenger vehicles from the road.
“ISG knows that the governor is facing a tough budget reality, and that his intent is to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote Illinois’ economy. However, eliminating biodiesel policy from the books does exactly the opposite,” emphasized Schroeder. “We look forward to negotiating solutions with him as well as members of the legislature that strengthen Illinois’ economy, improve our budget situation, and improve the environment.”
Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is a membership organization serving more than 43,000 Illinois soybean producers. As part of ISA’s mission to uphold the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education, ISG advances the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level. Voice for Soy, the ISG legislative action network, allows producers to easily connect with legislators and regulators to advocate for Illinois agriculture. For more information, visit www.ilsoygrowers.com or www.voiceforsoy.org.
— Illinois Soybean Growers
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