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State Government News

Reynolds signs law requiring Iowa gas stations to sell fuel with more ethanol

051722-reynolds-signs-ethanol-law
Katarina Sostaric
/
IPR
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Tuesday in Prairie City that requires gas stations to sell fuel with higher blends of ethanol.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Tuesday that mandates Iowa gas stations to sell gas with higher blends of ethanol.

“This historic bill makes Iowa the first state in the nation to adopt an E-15 standard, setting the stage for the single largest expansion of biofuels in our state’s history,” Reynolds said before signing the bill at a farm in Prairie City.

The new law requires gas stations that open after Jan. 1, 2023, to sell gas blended with at least 15 percent ethanol from at least half of their dispensers. Existing gas stations with compatible infrastructure are required to sell E-15 from at least one dispenser by 2026. If a station upgrades its underground infrastructure, it would have to offer E-15 from at least 50 percent of its dispensers.

Lawmakers added exceptions for gas stations that sell less than 300,000 gallons of gas per year and those that have old infrastructure incompatible with E-15.

“I was not going to be a governor that shut down a gas station in rural Iowa,” Reynolds said. “I’ve done everything to the contrary to help build rural Iowa up and so this bill addresses that.”

The bill was one of Reynolds’ priorities for this legislative session. She has said that this will provide certainty for Iowa’s biofuels industry when she doesn’t see that coming from the federal government.

But this year, President Joe Biden is authorizing the use of E-15 through the summer when that is typically not allowed.

Farmer Will Cannon of Prairie City hosted the governor’s bill signing event. He said ethanol and the new E-15 standard mean a lot to him.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and persistence to be able to farm full time,” Cannon said. “But it’s also taken markets and opportunities for good prices. And ethanol is one of those markets that helps to get good prices so that someone like me has an opportunity to farm. And so we’re very thankful for that.”

The bill got bipartisan support in the Iowa Legislature. Some lawmakers opposed it, saying they disagree with state government requiring business owners to sell a certain product.