The Iowa Legislature voted 94 to 0 in the House of Representatives and 49 to 0 in the Iowa Senate earlier this week to secure another year of funding for the state’s very successful biodiesel and ethanol blender pump program. The program is called the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP).
“While we were hopeful for a long-term funding solution for the state’s renewable fuels infrastructure program, we’re very pleased that on April 27 the Iowa Legislature was able to keep this vital initiative going for another year,” says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) policy director Grant Menke. “The USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership re-energized many Iowa fuel retailers, leading to record participation in the blender pump program over the past year. This one-year funding extension allows us to build upon this momentum and ensure Iowans have greater access to cleaner-burning, lower-cost renewable fuels.”
Iowa fuel retailers are interested in offering renewables
The IRFA recently reported interest amongst Iowa retailers in offering renewable fuels is at an all-time high. The most recent Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure board meeting set records by awarding 68 projects with $3.2 million in state grants to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
With passage of the April 27 legislation, the RFIP has secured funding through the state’s next fiscal year which ends June 30, 2017.
“This legislation does permanently end the current source of RFIP funding, so finding a long-term funding solution will be a high priority for the biofuels and renewable retailers community next legislative session. Bottom line, this program provides immense benefits to Iowans in the form of cleaner air, competition at the pump, lower fuel prices, and a stronger Iowa economy,” adds Menke.
Cost-share grants to Iowa retailers to upgrade pumps
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, or RFIP, offers cost-share grants to Iowa retailers wishing to upgrade fueling infrastructure to offer E15, E85 and/or biodiesel blends. Reimbursement can be up to 70% of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $50,000 per project, with a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends. For more on the program, click here.
According to a recent IRFA study, Iowa’s renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $4.6 billion of Iowa GDP, generates $2.3 billion in income for Iowa households and supports more than 43,000 jobs throughout all sectors of the Iowa economy.
Iowa renewable fuel industry supports over 43,000 jobs
Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For information visit IRFA website, IowaRFA.org.