Iowa governor request funds for biofuel infrastructure program

By Erin Voegele | January 17, 2019

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has requested state funding to support the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, which provides cost-share grants to help fuel retailers in Iowa install blender pumps, storage tanks and other equipment needed to offer higher blends of biofuel.

On Jan. 15, the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association announced Reynold’s 2019 Iowa budget proposal requests $3 million for the RFIP program. Documentation published the same day by the Iowa Department of Management shows Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Land and Stewardship have respectively recommended and requested $3 million in funding be allocated to the program annually for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

The document also shows $3 million was allocated to the program in fiscal year 2018, with the budget estimate for fiscal year 2019 also set at $3 million.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the RFIP program can reimburse up to 50 percent of the costs for specific components installed at fuel dispensing sites or fueling stations to allow for the expanded use of biofuels. Recipients of the funding must commit to sell certain renewable fuels for at least three years. A five year commitment to store and sell renewable fuels and install certain equipment can result in up to 70 percent reimbursement for specific equipment or instillation costs, the department said.

The IRFA has released a statement praising Reynolds for the RFIP budget request. “IRFA members want to thank Gov. Reynolds for prioritizing funding for blender pumps through Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program in her budget,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA. “RFIP was identified in the Iowa Energy Plan as one of the best ways to help Iowa become number one in both the production and use of homegrown energy like ethanol and biodiesel. Gov. Reynolds continues to play a key role in pressing the Trump Administration to keep its commitments to renewable fuels, and she continues to lead here in Iowa as well.”