Iowa Houses passes bill to increase access to E15, B20

By Erin Voegele | February 02, 2022

The Iowa House of Representatives on Feb. 2 voted 82 to 10 in favor of legislation introduced by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in January that aims to increase consumer access for higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.

The bill, H.F. 2128, known as the Governor’s Biofuel Access Bill, updates and expands both the state’s biodiesel production tax credit and the biodiesel fuel tax differential. It also shifts the current fuel retailer tax credit for blends of B11 to encourage higher blends of biodiesel, introducing new credits for blends like B20 and B30. In addition, it codifies an executive order issued in 2019 requiring that all diesel engine vehicles in the state fleet to be compatible with higher blends of biodiesel.

The legislation also expands the state’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, doubling funding for the program to $10 million per year for the next five years. The bill requires that any newly installed or upgraded fuel infrastructure must be E85 or B20 compatible. For ethanol, all retailers with compatible infrastructure would be required offer E15 by 2026.

Growth Energy is applauding passage of the bill, noting the updated E15 promotion tax credit would be set at 9 cents per gallon year-round through 2025. “The bipartisan passage of the Biofuel Access Bill in the Iowa State House is an exciting development in the move toward statewide E15 and in Iowa’s leadership in increasing access to higher blends of biofuels,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Statewide access to higher blends of biofuels means that all drivers across Iowa will have the opportunity to choose fuel that is good for their engine, good for their pocketbook, and one that benefits the community around them. We thank Speaker Pat Grassley, Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, and Chairman Lee Hein for working hard to support biofuels and get this legislation one step closer to becoming law.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is also celebrating the Iowa House’s passage of the bill. “Today was a victory for Iowa consumers,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA. “Every person in Iowa deserves the choice of higher blends like E15 and B20. By unlocking the power of biofuels, Iowans can save money at the pump while also powering our farm economy. IRFA urges the Senate to take the bill up quickly. We also want to thank Gov. Reynolds for prioritizing biofuels choice for Iowans and leading the way. Finally, passing this bill would not have been possible without support from both parties and IRFA thanks Speaker Grassley, Leader Konfrst and all House members who stood united behind biofuels. Promoting biofuels has never been a partisan issue and today we saw what can be accomplished when we focus on what’s best for Iowa’s future.”

The Iowa Biodiesel Board is commending the House for its vote and is calling on the Iowa Senate to take action on the legislation. “We commend the House for passing this common sense, incentive-based approach to shoring up and growing Iowa’s biofuels industry,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the IBB. “This legislation is an investment in Iowa’s long-term economic future. When biofuels succeed, Iowa succeeds.

“Iowa’s answer to the nationwide demand for low-carbon fuels is biodiesel,” he continued. “Our state can and should strengthen our position as the top biodiesel-producing state, so that we may reap the benefits of this shift. It also helps Iowa’s vital agriculture industry succeed. By increasing soybean oil value, biodiesel supports 13 percent of the price per bushel of soybeans. This equated to $1.09 per bushel in 2019, while lowering the price of meal for livestock producers and the food supply.

“We now turn our attention to the state senate,” Kimberley added. “We implore any Iowan with an interest in agriculture or clean energy to contact their senator and ask for his or her support for this legislation. Now is the time to get this through.”

Additional information on H.F. 2128 is available on the IRFA website