Eleanor Hildebrandt | January 26, 2022
A new bill proposed by Gov. Kim Reynolds could make fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol fuel the dominant fuel in Iowa in the next four years.
The bill was filed on Monday following a similar proposal did not pass in Iowa during the last session. The current legislation would require all gas stations in the state to sell the E-15 fuel at at least half their pumps. If passed, the bill would give Iowans more options when filling their vehicles with gas anywhere in the state. At a Iowa House subcommittee, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Lobbyist Sarah Allen supported the legislation.
“We think it gives consumers the ability to purchase E-15 more freely across the state, because that’s not happening right now,” she said.
At the meeting, State Policy Adviser for the Iowa Farm Bureau Kevin Kuhle said Iowa is currently lagging behind in ethanol consumption, regardless of the state being the leader in ethanol and biodiesel production. The bill advanced out of the subcommittee on Tuesday according to Iowa Public Radio. The legislation does provide exceptions for fueling stations featuring older tanks and pipes that are incompatible with ethanol fuels. It provides up to $50,000 from the state to update such stations.
Gasoline fuel blends with 10 percent of ethanol, known at E10, are one of the most widely sold fuels, according to Iowa Capital Dispatch. Most gas pumps have an E10 option in Iowa currently. The switch to E15 if the legislation is passed could increase the demand for the fuel by 61 million gallons of ethanol. It could generate up to $72 million in new income for biofuels and agriculture companies.