Iowa Governor Secures State Blender Pump Program Funding for One More Year

Source: By Molly M. White, OPIS • Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) signed into law a bill that includes extending funding for a program that helps fuel retailers pay for pump and infrastructure upgrades needed to sell higher ethanol blends, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) said Monday.

The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) offers Iowa retailers the option of upgrading fueling infrastructure to be compatible with E15, E85 and other biodiesel blends through cost-shared grants. With a commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends for five years, up to 70% of the costs, or a maximum of $50,000 per project, can be reimbursed.

Monday’s signing of the bill (H.F. 2464) extends funding of the program to June 30, 2017, when the state’s next fiscal year ends. At the most recent RFIP board meeting, a total of $3.2 million in state grants was awarded to 68 projects.

“We applaud Gov. Branstad and the Iowa Legislature for securing funding to keep the renewable fuels infrastructure program going for another year,” IRFA Policy Director Grant Menke said in a statement. “While we remain focused on finding a long-term funding solution, this bill will allow us to continue to build upon the momentum that was sparked by the USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership program, and ensure that Iowans have greater access to lower-cost, locally produced renewable fuels blends.”

As OPIS previously reported in late April, the Iowa Legislature had unanimously agreed to extend the funding for another year.

Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gal annually, including nearly 55 million gal of cellulosic ethanol. In addition, the state has 12 biodiesel facilities with a combined capacity of nearly 315 million gal/year.l