Shipley expects Iowa lawmakers to discuss ethanol mandate

Source: By Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network • Posted: Monday, January 3, 2022

IARN — The 2022 Iowa Legislative Session is just around the corner and state lawmakers are expected to reintroduce Governor Kim Reynolds’ proposed renewable fuel mandate that failed to pass the legislature last session.

During the 2021 session, Governor Reynolds offered a bill that would require all gasoline sold in the state to contain at least 15% ethanol by 2025 and all diesel to include increased levels of biodiesel. A version of the bill cleared a few hurdles in the legislature, but never made it to the floor for a vote before the end of the session.

State Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway and member of the Senate Ag Committee, recently told IARN affiliate KMA that he expects the ethanol bill to be a big topic during the 2022 session.

“I looked at that (last year) and thought it was great, but that it was pretty complex,” said Shipley. “I thought it would take more than one session to get this thing ironed out and that ended up being the case. It’s been worked on ever since.”

Shipley says biofuel leaders went back to the negotiating table during the summer.

“My colleague Senator (Dan) Zumbach has been working on that throughout the interim to get it to the point where we don’t hurt any small gas stations, and yet increase the use of ethanol,” said Shipley. “We make more ethanol than anybody in the country and we don’t use as much as other states do.”

Pushback against the 2021 proposal came mostly from fuel retailers, including gas stations and bulk fuel suppliers, who argued the cost of upgrading equipment to handle the biofuels would exceed $1 billion.

Corn growers in Iowa say an E-15 mandate would increase corn demand by 23 million bushels annually and would provide $140 million in additional economic benefit.

Meanwhile, the group FUELIowa – which represents fuel retailers and suppliers in the state – said 550 sites would need to be upgraded to sell higher blends of ethanol and that they are in favor of letting the market dictate which kind of fuel is sold.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.