Today is National Biodiesel Day! The Iowa Biodiesel Board is asking Iowans to reflect on the contribution the biodiesel industry is making to Iowa and to the nation. March 18 is National Biodiesel Day because it is Rudolf Diesel’s birthday, the man who invented the engine that bears his name. He ran early models on peanut oil, and was a visionary for the renewable fuel that would one day be called biodiesel.
In a 1912 speech, Diesel said: “The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”
Iowa has been leading the way with 12 biodiesel plants that produced 184 million gallons of biodiesel in 2012. This accounts for about 17 percent of all U.S. biodiesel.
“With biodiesel, Iowans are leading an agricultural revolution that is making a meaningful difference in our nation’s energy security and helping our economy rebound,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “We truly are at the forefront of innovative American agriculture driving American energy independence.”
Recent economic studies show in 2012, Iowa biodiesel:
- Supported nearly 5,000 jobs in the state
- Contributed nearly $400 million to the state’s GDP
- Generated $236.8 million of household income
Biodiesel also benefits consumers in other ways. According to a study measuring the impact of the Iowa biodiesel industry on the Iowa agricultural economy, corn, soybean, and livestock producers all benefit from biodiesel production. Demand for vegetable oils reduces soybean meal prices, to the benefit of Iowa’s livestock producers – and that ultimately benefits the consumer at the grocery store.
Want to show your support for biodiesel today or any day? Join the Biodiesel Backers!