The Iowa House has passed a bill that brings E15 to more fuel pumps
The Iowa House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require gas stations around the state to sell gasoline with higher blends of ethanol at more of their pumps.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill would require gas stations to sell gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, called E15, from at least half of their pumps by 2026. The bill now heads to the Senate.
The legislation has received pushback from fuel retailers over concerns about how small gas stations are going to be able to comply with the requirements. It was amended to make exceptions for gas stations with older infrastructure that can’t accommodate biofuels. They can seek waivers from the state.
“Our priority was making sure we protect our small stores, especially in rural Iowa,” said House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford. “We didn’t want to jeopardize them. So this bill accommodated that.”
Despite the changes, some gas stations in Iowa are still unhappy with the bill. FUELIowa, a coalition of fuel distributors, cooperatives and convenience stores, said the bill “forces high costs” on businesses that don’t expect to see a return on investment.
“Unfortunately, if this bill were to become law, many of these small, mostly rural, businesses would be forced to shut down,” said Ron Langston, President and CEO of FUELIowa in a statement. “FUELIowa remains committed to the incentives-based approach to selling more Iowa biofuel because markets, not government mandates, are what has been proven to work.”
Meanwhile, renewable fuels and farm groups praised the Iowa House for passing the bill.
“Every person in Iowa deserves the choice of higher blends like E15 and B20,” said Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in a statement. “By unlocking the power of biofuels, Iowans can save money at the pump while also powering our farm economy.”
Reynolds proposed a similar bill last year that only allowed one pump at each site to sell gasoline with no ethanol.