Container vessel in Port of Los Angeles

International ships use 2.3 billion gallons of distillate fuel each year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Credit: Soy Transportation Coalition/Mike Steenhoek)

Iowa Soybean, Biodiesel Industries Welcome Bill to Boost Marine Use of Biodiesel

December 8, 2023

Ankeny, Iowa – The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) today commended the introduction of the Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA).

Co-sponsored by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), the bipartisan bill would allow biodiesel used in ocean-going vessels to be eligible for counting toward existing federal Renewable Fuel Standard requirements. It accomplishes this by adding “fuel for ocean-going vessels” to the “Additional renewable fuel” section of the Clean Air Act, essentially treating marine applications identical to home heating oil and jet fuel.

Grant Kimberley, ISA senior director of market development and IBB executive director, issued the following statement:

“We applaud Rep. Miller-Meeks for taking a leadership role in making this important, common-sense fix to the RFS. The commitments to decarbonizing the transportation sector are the strongest we’ve ever seen, and that includes the marine industry. We all have an interest in encouraging ocean-going vessels to reduce the marine industry’s greenhouse gas impact through the use of biodiesel.”

Suzanne Shirbroun, ISA president and a soybean farmer from Farmersburg, Iowa, issued the following statement:

“By some estimates, sustainable marine fuel is poised to cross 325 billion dollars by 2036, and it’s in everyone’s interest that soybean farmers and biodiesel producers capture some of that value. When farmers participate in the energy market through greater demand for soybean oil, the farm economy becomes diversified and stronger. We thank Rep. Miller-Meeks for having the foresight to encourage the blue-water marine fleet to use biodiesel in its fuel, which will reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality around ports while strengthening the farm economy.”

International ships use 2.3 billion gallons of U.S. distillate fuel each year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

As a co-lead of the international Zero-Emissions Shipping Mission, the U.S. Department of Energy recognizes biodiesel and renewable diesel as sustainable drop-in marine fuels that can achieve immediate carbon reductions in the sector.


Not funded by the soybean checkoff

The Iowa Soybean Association ( is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.