In Iowa, the state legislature passed legislation that allows E15 infrastructure investments to become eligible for Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure grants. Previously, the infrastructure program funds were only available for blender pumps and dispensers offering E85. However, the new provision allows funds to be used for dispensing equipment upgrades that make registered E15 available to 2001 and newer vehicles in Iowa. Additionally, the Iowa legislature passed a bill that will establish a new grant program for fuel retailers to replace old underground storage tank (UST) equipment with new components that are UL listed to be fully compatible with E85. Together, these meaningful programs will expand consumer access to cleaner-burning higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.
In February, the Iowa state legislature included a 3-cent per gallon differential tax rate for B11 and higher biodiesel blends in its road infrastructure legislation. This provision, which takes effect July 1 for a five-year duration, will be a useful incentive to encourage the increased use and availability of cleaner-burning, locally-produced higher biodiesel blends.
“After a long, spirited session, we sincerely thank the Iowa Legislature for remaining committed to increasing the use and availability of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends,” stated IRFA Policy Director Grant Menke. “With an uphill climb for renewable fuels ahead in terms of federal policy, forward-thinking state initiatives are a must to continue to build upon the successes of Iowa’s nation-leading renewable fuels industry.”
Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, including 22 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity and one cellulosic ethanol facility currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.