I would like to correct some misinformation about biofuels that appeared in a few letters to the editor of late. The assertion that biofuels negatively impact habitat or water quality is, quite simply, false.
Today, farmers like me provide food and fuel to more people using less land, because we are planting more efficient crops and have benefited from leaps in technology. At the same time, U.S. farmland has decreased by more than 23 million acres since 2007 – even as biofuels have excelled under smart state and federal policy.
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 that 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. On top of these benefits, biodiesel supports thousands of jobs, and helps my family farm stay afloat during hard economic times for agriculture.
Iowa has embraced renewable energy of all sorts 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. And I applaud it, too.