A bill which would force Iowa gas stations to offer ethanol-blended gasoline to customers is scheduled for debate in a legislative committee today. The bill would force stations to offer ethanol at the pumps in the lowest octane level, which is 87. Iowa Corn Growers Association president Ron Litterer says his group backs the bill.Litterer, who farms in northeast Iowa’s Floyd County near the town of Greene, believes ethanol would be the cheapest fuel available in Iowa if the bill becomes law. He says the free market hasn’t worked in distributing ethanol.Fuel marketers say gas station owners were selling ethanol at a loss for years because it was more expensive and if the bill becomes law, gas stations may raise the price of ethanol to make up for losses. Litterer says ethanol has a serious price advantage, though, because of the full load of state and federal fuel taxes are not charged on the corn-based fuel But Litterer says distributors often pocket the difference in taxes and don’t pass the price decrease on to consumers.Similar legislation failed last week in Nebraska’s legislature.
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