The Iowa legislature has approved a bill that is estimated to require that the majority of Iowa gas stations sell gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend. Governor Kim Reynolds was speaking with reporters in West Des Moines when she learned the bill had passed the Senate Tuesday morning.
The governor initially proposed an Iowa Renewable Fuels Standard last year. An adjusted plan passed passed the House this February. This week, Senators made changes that are expected to let an estimated 30 percent of smaller gas stations opt out of the requirement to sell E-15. Senator Waylon Brown, a Republican from Osage, says it’s a way to push back against the oil industry and federal regulators who’ve resisted using ethanol as a gasoline additive.
Republican Senator Dennis Guth, a farmer from Klemme, says the mandate violates the principles of free enterprise.
Senator Todd Taylor, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says the bill will be an economist boost for rural and urban Iowa.
Republican Senator Adrian Dickey of Packwood, who has owned fuel stores, voted for the bill, but Dickey says retailers who install new systems to pump higher blends of ethanol will make zero profits from that investment.
The House approved Senate adjustments in the plan early this (Tuesday) afternoon and sent the bill to the governor on an 81-to-13 vote.