Senate republicans today unveiled a 45-million dollar plan to increase the use of gasoline that’s an 85 percent mix of corn-based ethanol. Senate leader Stewart Iverson of Dows, says the money would be used to help retailers install E-85 pumps and storage tanks.
He says it would take five million dollars from the values fund over the next nine years to offer 25-thousand dollar construction grants, plus a 30-percent tax credit from the federal government. There are now 26 E-85 pumps in the state. Iverson says the goal is to install 18-hundred more pumps by the year 2014.
Iverson says G-M, Ford and Chrysler are increasing the number of flexible fuel vehicles they build, and he says we need to increase the number of outlets where the E-85 fuel is available is going to the critical part of getting people to use the fuel. Senate republicans are also proposing a 10-cent a gallon tax credit on E-85 fuel.
Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan says the tax credit would make an impact on sales. Johnson says price sells as we’re now above 75-percent in the amount of fuel sales which are a 10-percent ethanol blend. He says the tax credit will increase the sales of E-85 dramatically. The Values Fund is designed to help spur business development in the state and Senate co-president Jeff Lambert of Ankeny says that’s what this plan does.
He says this is economic development of a homegrown business in the state. Lamberti says “If we can’t support the development of the ethanol industry in Iowa with state dollars, what industry is it we should be supporting?” Senate democrats have argued for a mandate that requires all gas sold in the state to be the 10-percent ethanol mix. Lamberti says this plan goes beyond that.
He says, “We’re actually trying to come up with a proposal that takes this industry to the next level.” Lamberti says getting more vehicles using E-85 is more important than capturing the small amount of the E-10 market that’s left.
Democrat Senate co-president Jack Kibbie released a state saying, “Today’s announcement comes after many years of foot-dragging by Senate Republican leaders on this important issue. We are glad to see Senate Republicans finally moving toward actively supporting increased ethanol use in Iowa.” Kibbie says democrats look forward to working with republicans in the next legislative session on incentive-based initiatives to help Iowa become the renewable fuel capital of the world.