JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- The National Biodiesel Board praises the Iowa Senate for passing legislation to take the state a step closer to implementing an alternative fuel standard. If approved by the House the legislation, SF464, would ensure that the state's diesel fuel contains 5 percent biodiesel (B5).

"Iowa has been a leader in the helping to establish biodiesel as a reliable and renewable energy alternative," said Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board CEO. "Biodiesel gives all Iowans an opportunity to use a renewable fuel made for, grown by, refined by, and distributed by Iowans. This is empowering the citizens of the state to choose to use less foreign oil."

The legislation would add Iowa to a roster of seven states that also recognize the countless benefits of biodiesel and have introduced standards to support using cleaner burning, domestically produced biodiesel. Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New Mexico and Massachusetts have all approved biodiesel requirements.

Biodiesel is a sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel fuel that reduces greenhouse gases and other emissions, and is nontoxic and biodegradable. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel. Blends can be used in diesel engines with few or no modifications. In fact blends of up to 5 percent biodiesel, such as fuel supported by SF464, are legally considered diesel, eliminating any operational or potential warranty concerns. B5 also boasts premium performance characteristics, so a high quality biodiesel blend will enhance the state's diesel supply. Iowa is already home to excellent fuel quality enforcement requirements, which the National Biodiesel Board vigorously supports, and that are a critical factor in any fuel considerations.

Iowa's B5 requirement would generate demand for about 45 million gallons of biodiesel, supported by locally available raw material and local jobs.

"On top of environmental and performance benefits, one of biodiesel greatest attributes is that it is made here at home -- by Americans, for Americans," Jobe said. "Enhancing the fuel supply with biodiesel is the choice that keeps our money and our jobs here at home."

Expanding biodiesel use on a state and national level also reduces millions of pounds of emissions. Last year U.S. biodiesel production approached 700 million gallons, supported 51,893 jobs in all sectors of the economy, added $4.287 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product and reduced greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of removing 980,000 vehicles from U.S. roads.

The Iowa House of Representatives must also approve SF464 before it becomes law.

SOURCE: National Biodiesel Board.