Republican Governor Kim Reynolds is expected to sign a bill into law today that establishes an Iowa Renewable Fuels Mandate.
Legislators provided some exceptions for small gas stations and those that have older equipment. However, most Iowa gas stations with storage tanks and pumping systems that can handle higher blends of ethanol will have to offer E15 from at least one pump by 2026. New gas stations that open after January 1, 2023 will have to sell E-15 from at least half of their dispensers.
Governor Reynolds first proposed the concept last year and, after changes, it got bipartisan approval in the legislature this spring, with 123 legislators voting for it. Just 16 legislators voted against the bill. One GOP critic said forcing a business to sell a product violates the principles of free enterprise.
Backers designed the bill to boost sales of soybean based biodiesel as well. Any diesel fuel pumps installed after January 1 of next year will have to be able to dispense diesel that contains 20% of a soybean-based additive. It’s called B20.
Federal records indicate there are nearly 3000 gas stations in Iowa and about 300 stations sell E15 according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. B20 is sold at about 100 locations in the state.