The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has joined the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) in calling for an Iowa Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that would replace 25% of Iowa’s gasoline with renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel by 2015. The aggressive RFS allows gasoline retailers flexibility in meeting the standard through the sale of E10, E85, and biodiesel blends.
By the end of 2006, Iowa will have a minimum of 27 ethanol plants capable of producing over 1.6 billion gallons per year. In addition, at least 6 biodiesel plants will be capable of producing more than 120 million gallons per year.
Iowa is the leader in producing renewable fuels, but we’ve lagged behind in use. Now is the time for Iowa to become the leading consumer of renewable fuels. This proposal could quadruple the use of renewable fuels over the next decade. The Iowa RFS can serve as model legislation for other states to follow.—Bernie Punt, IRFA President
The proposed RFS does not mandate any per gallon renewable fuel use, but would require Iowa gasoline retailers to achieve a minimum percentage of renewable fuels use compared to total retail gasoline sales over the course of a year. Ethanol, such as E10 and E85 blends, and biodiesel, such as B2 and B20 blends, would count toward meeting the standard.
The RFS schedule would be: 10% by 2008, 15% by 2010, 20% by 2012, and 25% by 2015. Should fuel retailers not reach 25% total usage by 2015, the legislation would institute an automatic 10% per gallon ethanol requirement for the state.
The ICGA board of directors first offered the proposal in June, 2005, after a survey of more than 2,000 Iowa corn members indicated that they want stronger ethanol legislation. After the ICGA formalized this goal, the proposal went to roundtable policy discussions held with members throughout the state. Most recently, voting delegates reaffirmed their support for the proposal at the ICGA annual policy conference held in December.
There is no doubt that we are fully immersed in this initiative. ICGA believes this proposal will be the best way to advance E85 and ethanol in Iowa. A 25% renewable fuels requirement could result in as much as 240 million gallons per year of increased ethanol usage.—Keith Sexton, ICGA president