The Midwestern Governors Association this week authored a letter formally asking every major diesel engine and vehicle manufacturer to support the use of biodiesel blends of at least 20% in all diesel-powered equipment.
The effort was championed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, chair of the Midwestern Governors Association, and Mark Dayton, Minnesota governor and MGA vice chair.
The governors highlighted their reasons for supporting B20 in the letter, writing that more than 13 states use B-20 for environmental reasons and have instituted "a variety of state policies" to encourage its use.
The letter also said that B-20 can help reduce the nation's independence on foreign oil and they said that they are highly encouraged by the improving quality of biodiesel fuels.
"The growth and momentum of the biodiesel industry's rigorous quality control program, BQ-9000, has also worked to ensure the availability of high-quality biodiesel blends for your customers," the governors wrote. "Now more than 81 percent of the biodiesel sold in the U.S. is produced by BQ-9000 certified producers, and that volume is advancing steadily toward the industry goal of 100 percent."
The governors also said the federal Renewable Fuels Standard-2 requires the use of higher levels of advanced biofuels over the next 10 years, and could eventually provide a market for biodiesel as high as 5 billion gallons per year. Biodiesel is the nation's first commercial scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's definition as an advanced biofuel, and universal acceptance of B20 would help fulfill that RFS-2 requirement.
"It is our firm belief that companies that support B20 will capture market share from those companies that choose not to support B20—especially in the Midwest," the letter said.
According to the National Biodiesel Board, more than 65%of the diesel engine and vehicle manufacturers selling equipment in the U.S. already publicly support the use of B20 biodiesel blends.
"As Governors, we see increasing the use of biodiesel as an important part of diversifying our nation's energy portfolio," the MGA said. "We will continue to encourage policies that will expand consumer access to higher blends of biodiesel."
MGA's nine participating states are Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.