The governor’s plan to require that most Iowa fueling stations sell gas with a 15% ethanol blend has cleared the Senate Ag Committee — without any debate.
Republican Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan was the only person to speak about the bill before a subcommittee and the Senate Ag Committee voted to advance it.
“Good bills come with questions. Good bills come with controversy. Good bills come with answers,” Zumbach said. “This bill answers a lot of questions. Does it create some? Absolutely, but this bill is about doing what Iowans do and that’s supporting Iowans.”
Last year, Governor Reynolds proposed an Iowa Renewable Fuels Standard, but the state’s fuel industry warned motorists would see higher pump prices as stations spent money upgrading equipment to handle higher blends of ethanol as well as biodiesel, which has a soybean-based additive. This year’s revised proposal includes waivers for smaller stations which can show they cannot afford to upgrade fuel systems to handle E15, E85 and B20.
“It’s about making corn and soybeans worth more,” Zumbach said, “and having great fuel access everywhere.”
The bill easily cleared the Iowa House last week and its next stop in the Senate is the Ways and Means Committee.