Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats is releasing his energy policy today and says if he’s elected governor he would require the state to shift to using gas blended with 85-percent ethanol in all its vehicles. Vander Plaats says he’d also look at requiring tax-exempt vehicles to burn E-85. He says there’s tax exempt vehicles all over the state and the goal is to increase the distribution market for E-85. Vander Plaats says he doesn’t think it would be too heavy a cost for tax-exempt entities to move toward buying vehicles that burn E-85.

Vander Plaats says the plan is when the tax-exempt entities add vehicles, they buy E-85 or “flex fuel” vehicles. Vanderplaats says they would still have the choice to burn E-85, or biodiesel or regular gas if they had to, but he says it would increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles on the roadways. Vander Plaats says the state vehicles would required to be flex-fuel, but he says he wouldn’t give tax exempt entities more leeway. He says if it would not be a financial burden on the tax-exempt entities, then he would like to see them be required to add the flex-fuel vehicles to their fleet.

Vander Plaats also advocates a break on registration for the cars and trucks that can burn E-85. He says we need to move to an 85-dollar licensing fee for the first three years when someone buys a flex-fuel vehicle. Vander Plaats says that would also be an incentive for people to buy the vehicles and burn the “Iowa brand of energy.” Vander Plaats says with Iowa’s abundant natural resources and farming industry, we must lead in the production, distribution, and use of renewable energy.