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Iowa governor signs bill requiring gas stations to offer E15

The bill adopts a statewide E15 ethanol standard and seeks to expand access to biofuel across the state to lower the cost of fuel.

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Tuesday morning that will expand biofuel access across the state and adopt a new ethanol standard.

HF2128, or the Biofuel Access Bill, was signed into law by Reynolds on Tuesday, May 17 at a Prarie City farm. It makes Iowa the first state in the U.S. to an E15 standard for ethanol and seeks to expand access to ethanol and biodiesel to lower fuel prices for customers.

E15 ethanol made national headlines in April after the Biden administration waived a rule restricting the blending of the fuel in the summer season due to smog concerns. The move was made in response to rising gas prices due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Reynolds says that the bill has been one of her top priorities, having introduced the idea to the legislature earlier in the year and gaining strong bipartisan support. The bill passed the Iowa House with an 81-13 vote and the Iowa Senate with a 42-3 vote.

“I’ve never been prouder than I am today to be the Governor of the number one ethanol and biodiesel-producing state in the country,” Reynolds said. “Iowa’s biofuel production powers our economy and fuels the world, and this historic bill sets the stage for the single largest expansion of biofuels in our state’s history. We're sending a message that can’t be ignored: America’s energy is growing right here in Iowa’s fields.” 

Reynolds went on to say that Iowa continues to be a biofuel leader, with the industry generating $4 billion of the state's GDP and supporting tens of thousands of jobs. The bill sets the stage for the largest biofuel industry expansion in the state's history.

The bill boasts a biofuel tax credit to incentivize production in Iowa and increases the fuel retailer tax credit. 

The state also wants to future-proof its fuel infrastructure, specifically by making needed improvements to renewable fuel infrastructure.

"Right now we have cover crops growing. And I think ethanol has a really bright future and I think it has all kinds of potential to lower emissions. And I think as farmers we have more and more ways we can use cover crops and other regenerative practices, conservation practices, that we can help sequester even more carbon, and really make it all a win-win for all of us," said farmer Will Cannon at the bill signing. "So as one farmer to other farmers out there, you know, let's keep working to improve on our conservation legacy, as we celebrate this win, and we think about where ethanol can go in the future."

Will Cannon, an Iowa farmer with two decades of farming under his belt, praised the new measure and the boost he believes it provides farmers like him.

"I didn't grow up on a farm where we farmed full time," said Cannon. "It's taken a lot of hard work and persistence to to be able to farm full time. But it's also taken markets and opportunities for good prices. And ethanol is one of those markets that helps helps to get good prices so that someone like me has an opportunity to farm."

"It is a fuel that creates a lot more octane naturally, but it also improves the emissions." said Iowa Corn Association Vice President Dennis Friest. "So it's  cleaner emissions going out in the air. So it's a win win for everybody to include this E15. Some pumps is called E88 so it can be a little bit confusing. But they're the same product. And it's a product that we grow corn in Iowa, and it's it's great for our demand for corn in this state for us financially."

The full text of the bill is available to read here.

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