A key Republican state lawmaker is unmoved by a rebuke from a party elder. Republican U.S. Senator Charles Grassley said yesterday (Tuesday) that he’s “embarrassed” Republican leaders in the state Senate oppose a plan that would require only ethanol-blended fuels be pumped at Iowa gas stations.
Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows doesn’t like the idea of forcing consumers to choose the corn-based fuel. “For me personally, I’m a little troubled by saying ‘You have to buy my product,'” Iverson says. Iverson, who used to farm for a living, turns the tables on Grassley. “Quite frankly, I would love it if the federal government would say, you know, that we need to put E10 in all the gasoline across the United States,” Iverson says. “I think that is where the huge market share is.”
Grassley says he’s disappointed Iverson and others who are “dragging their feet” and “playing second fiddle” to Minnesota which has an ethanol-only law on the books. Iverson says that’s not the best move. Iverson says about 80 percent of the fuel sold in Iowa is a 10-percent ethanol blend. He suggests the state should focus on expanding the number of gas pumps which dispense higher-concentrated ethanol — the E-85 blend.
Last week, Iverson and other Senate Republicans proposed spending 45 million dollars to help retailers install E-85 pumps and storage tanks. The money would come from the state’s economic development program — the Iowa Values Fund. There are now 26 E-85 pumps in the state, and Iverson says the goal is to install 18-hundred more pumps by the year 2014.