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The Iowa House passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that required some Democrat support to get it over the finish line. The bill requires gas stations with compatible equipment to offer E15 from at least one pump by 2026. After next January, any new stations or those installing new tanks, pumps and hoses must offer E15 from at least half of their available pumps.

Republican State Rep. Lee Hein, who managed the bill in the House, said gas stations will still have every opportunity to sell every other kind of product they want in the fuel industry.

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“But you need to, if your facility or your retail store is compatible to E85, offer that as one of the choices,” Hein said.

There will be a waiver process for older stores to work through. If they are not compatible for E85, Hein said they’ll be exempt. He said it was never the intent of the legislation to put small “mom-and-pop stores” out of business.

“They can either upgrade or they can apply for the waiver and continue selling the products that they’re selling today,” he said.

Grants of up to $50,000 will be available to help stations pay for new infrastructure to accommodate the higher blends.

A handful of Democrats spoke in support of the legislation. State Rep. Mary Wolfe reiterated the fact there are government mandates in the bill.

Representatives Dave Jacoby and Chuck Isenhart praised President Joe Biden for his support of biofuels.

Hein said the bill has “come a long way” from a year ago.

“It means a lot to the people in agriculture,” Hein said. “This is a huge deal as we promote ethanol throughout the world and the nation. Iowa is the No. 1 leader in developing it and this is a big deal where we’re standing up and moving this forward. I’m proud that the House Republicans are moving this forward and hopefully the Senate will pick it up and move it fairly rapidly and get it down to the Governor’s desk for signature as one of the first bills out of this session.”

Author: Jacob Hall

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