On Wednesday, a subcommittee met to consider the governor’s biofuel bill proposal, SSB 3084. If enacted, this bill would create an E15 access standard, which requires gas stations to sell E15 at more of their pumps. E15 is gasoline that contains 15 percent ethanol. It is cheaper per gallon than typical unleaded blends and works in most 2001-to-present vehicles. Under the bill, all retailers with compatible infrastructure must offer E15 by January 1 of 2026. New fuel retailers that open on or after January 1 of 2023 must offer E15 from 50 percent of their dispensers.
This version of the bill offers waivers from the requirement for certain conditions. The governor can waive the E15 access standard statewide or on a regional basis if there is an E15 supply shortage, if the price of E15 will create a demonstrated economic hardship, or if widespread infrastructure compatibility issues are present. There are two waivers available for individual retailers. One can be due to incompatible infrastructure due to the age of the infrastructure. Retailers can also get a waiver if the overall cost to upgrade the infrastructure exceeds roughly $71,000. Retailers are eligible for 70 percent of costs from the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP), up to $50,000. Tax credits available to retailers will also be extended and created for ethanol and biodiesel blends.
This bill will next be considered by the full Agriculture Committee. I have met with numerous constituents and stakeholder organizations involved in this proposal and it hasn’t been an easy decision for me. I am in the process of sifting through the facts to do what is best for my district and the state of Iowa. Last year, the bill didn’t have my support as it was presented. I appreciate the stakeholders and legislators that have been working to bring everyone together and make adjustments to the proposal. In my personal opinion, it may need some additional changes to it. Stay tuned on the bill and the process.