IOWA — Iowa gas stations would be required to upgrade their infrastructure to sell ethanol products under a bill passed by the Iowa House on a bipartisan basis on Wednesday.
House File 218 requires gas stations to have the ability to sell ethanol blends of gasoline by the year 2026. The measure passed 82-10 in the Iowa House on Wednesday afternoon. The bill was supported by the ethanol industry which is looking to expand the presence of the renewable fuel at Iowa pumps. The group FUELIowa – which represents fuel businesses in the state – opposed the bill, saying it forces expensive upgrades on businesses that don’t make money on fuel. The bill provides some grant money to pay for upgrades.
Both parties said that this was the way to back Iowa farmers and support the state as a whole. A large sum of the corn grown in the state is used for ethanol production.
“With Iowa’s corn market, 40% of it goes into biofuels,” said State Representative Lee Hein (R) from Monticello. “So moving biofuels forward and standing up to let the rest of the country know that this is a good product and a good this is huge for the rest of the economy.”
Several Democratic lawmakers during the debate on the floor on Wednesday afternoon voiced their support as well.
“Partisan politics reared it’s ugly head since the beginning of the subcommittee,” said State Representative Dave Jacoby (D) from Coralville. “But I am glad that the people of this chamber were able to get together, work out their differences and do what is best for the state of Iowa.”
The bill was proposed by Governor Reynolds. It now moves on to the Republican-controlled Iowa Senate before it could possibly land back on the governor’s desk.