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PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa — Iowa drivers have never had to pay so much to fill up their tanks and starting next year, most retailers will be required to provide them a cheaper alternative. On Tuesday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a plan that will require that in 2023 new retailers will have to provide E-15 and existing retailers will have to offer that blend by 2026. Smaller retailers, those with older facilities and those that would face high costs from offering E-15 can apply for a waiver.

On Tuesday, AAA reported that the average gallon of unleaded fuel reached $4.37 nationally, up $1.41 from a year. The price of oil has surged as the U.S. is not producing as much gasoline as it previously did.

The governor said that Iowa becomes the first state in the country to pass a law like this. And she criticized the Biden administration for encouraging electric vehicles as part of its overall energy policy.

“The (Biden) administration is encouraging Americans who can’t afford gas to buy an electric car. That’s not the solution. The true answer is biofuels,” Reynolds said, “…further our energy security.”

Five years ago, light-duty vehicles that at least partially operated on electricity comprised less than three percent of sales in the United States. That increased to more than 11 percent last year.

Will and Cassie Cannon hosted the governor’s bill-signing on the corn and bean farm that they rent in Prairie City. Will Cannon said, “This is a really big deal. And while we have a lot going on in the field and a lot of hard work to do, a lot of you in this crowd and a lot of people around this state have put in a lot of work the last two years. So today is a day to stop, reflect and appreciate where we are today.”