Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!
Our fourth week under the golden dome was very busy, and Tuesday, February 1st was a special kind of busy! It was the 37th annual Iowa FFA Legislative Symposium, and I’d like to give a shout-out to the FFA chapters from Belle Plaine, Benton Community, Iowa Valley, Union, and Williamsburg high schools for visiting and proudly representing the invaluable field of agriculture.
I can’t say how proud I am to see so many great young men and women interested in FFA! Unfortunately, I was unable to meet with them as I had committee meetings during the whole time these chapters were there but was able to run into the Iowa Valley chapter just before they left the Capitol.
This last Wednesday, we passed House File 2128, which is the biofuels access bill that Governor Reynolds had as one of her top priorities for 2022. The intent of this bill is to increase the access to gasoline that’s 15% ethanol across the state. Currently there are around 218 stations in Iowa that sell E15 gas out of over 2000. If a gas station has non-fiberglass underground storage tanks that were installed in 1985 or before, or single-wall fiberglass tanks before 1996 and double-wall fiberglass before 1991, they can get a waiver from selling E15.
There are many details in this bill that are too numerous to mention here, but gas stations (including marinas) will still sell ethanol free gas for their classic vehicles, boats, lawnmowers, etc. Currently, 80% of all gasoline sold in Iowa contains 10% ethanol and 85% of all gasoline sales is from E10 up to E85.
Farming and agriculture-related jobs make up almost a third of Iowa’s jobs – 31%. According to www.iowacorn.org, about 57% of Iowa’s corn crop goes into ethanol production, and other biproducts from this are wet or dry distillers grain solids, and distillers corn oil. I’m told that half of Kwik Star’s gas sales are of E15.
Like the commercial says, Iowa grows corn and corn grows Iowa (most certainly)! HF-2128 is in the Iowa Senate now for consideration. It is possible the bill could be tweaked to make it better – we shall see. HF 2128 is intended to decrease our dependence on foreign gas just a little bit more and will result in the ultimate goal of benefitting Iowans.
I’m looking forward to seeing some snow melt this week! Please be safe and healthy out there!