Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, this week introduced a bill into the Iowa Legislature that sets a 10% minimum ethanol standard for gasoline fuel and an 11% minimum biodiesel standard for diesel fuel.
The bill would step up the minumum to 20% biodiesel blends during the summers in 2024, and would give the governor discretion to increase the ethanol standard to 15% blends beginning in 2025.
“Passage of this bill would be a major win for farmers, retailers, consumers, and our environment,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw.
“Too often Iowa farmers are at the whims of federal policy flip-flops and fickle foreign trade. This legislation would create a growing market for biofuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, and thereby provide a stable and reliable market for Iowa farmers.”
The bill also adds $5 million from the general fund for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) on top of $5 million from the separate Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund called for in the governor’s budget proposal, Shaw added.
RFIP is a public-private partnership that provides cost-share grants so retailers can upgrade fueling equipment to offer higher biofuel blends.
Growth Energy, whose members build and run ethanol plants, said, “It is estimated that over the first five years, the legislation would increase ethanol demand by over 117 million gallons.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “Iowa is often known as one of the country’s standard-bearers for ethanol policy, and this move to statewide E15 offerings solidifies their status as leaders in growing Iowans’ access to cleaner and better value fueling options at the pump.
“Because of the continued support from Iowa biofuel champions like Gov. Reynolds, the E15 legislation introduced in the Iowa state legislature is a big step to offering higher biofuel blends to more and more Iowans and Americans.”
Jeff Broin. CEO of POET, a producer of ethanol and other biorefined products, added, “E15 in Iowa would add nearly 30 million bushels of grain demand each year, grow thousands of jobs across the state and inject millions into Iowa’s economy. It would boost farm incomes across the Midwest, grow dependable domestic markets, and be a critical step in securing America’s energy independence.”
“Make no mistake — we need to return to our roots and once again get our energy from the surface of the earth, and America’s farmers will play a pivotal role in the climate solution,” added Broin.
“Federal and state leaders looking to take action on climate and clean air should start with plant-based biofuels like bioethanol, which is 46% cleaner than gasoline from farm to freeway and displaces toxic chemicals in gasoline linked to cancer and other serious health problems.”
–The Hagstrom Report