Facts do not support assertions that biofuels negatively impact habitat or water quality (“Third generation farm owner questions ethanol,” Feb. 13). In fact, biofuels have greatly benefited the state of Iowa.
Biodiesel is made from byproducts and co-products of food production, like soybean oil. Farmers like me provide food and fuel to more people using less land, because we are planting more efficient crops, and have benefited from technology. At the same time, U.S. farmland has decreased by more than 23 million acres since 2007 — even as biofuels have excelled. Real-world data show that globally, forested area has increased by 19 million acres since 2004, as farmland has shrunk. In addition, the European Union recently recognized U.S. soybean sustainability protocols qualify for their own rigorous Renewable Energy Directive standards.
Biodiesel has the best life cycle greenhouse gas emission reductions of any liquid fuel, achieving carbon reductions between 50 and 86 percent compared to petroleum, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. On top of these benefits, biodiesel supports thousands of jobs, and helps my family farm stay afloat during hard economic times.
Iowa has embraced renewable energy and should take pride in its leadership position. Even our state’s petroleum industry supports renewable fuel. In fact, they recently changed their trade association name to FUELIowa to better reflect this shift, a move the Iowa Biodiesel Board applauded.
Biodiesel is a win-win-win. It lowers the cost of food, supports American manufacturing jobs, and improves air quality.