Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!
The Iowa Legislature was in session on Tuesday, April 26th and passed a handful of bills, with HF 2128 having the significance for Iowans. This is the biofuels bill that finally cleared the Senate chamber with a few changes and sent back to the House chamber. The House passed it with 81 bipartisan votes and it’s now on its way to Governor Reynolds awaiting her signature.
This biofuels bill is not only good for Iowans but is good for the nation and will help us be less independent on foreign fuel. Research shows there is a net energy gain in the final products of ethanol, corn oil, gluten, etc. over the energy needed to grow and process corn. Yes, that is correct, a net gain in energy by a factor of at least two! A 2015 USDA study shows there is a net doubling of energy from the total amount of energy needed to produce the corn, including fertilizers, planting, harvesting, transportation costs for delivery, and the ethanol processing at the plant, etc. You can go to https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015EnergyBalanceCornEthanol.pdf for detailed information.
It’s impossible for gasoline production going from the ground to refinery to the gas pump resulting in a net positive energy gain yet ethanol production is. Additionally, corn is a renewable source! It is estimated that roughly an additional 60 million gallons of ethanol will be produced from just under 21 million bushels of corn. Currently, around 270 gas stations sell 15% ethanol blended (E15) gas out of about 2200 gas stations in Iowa. Farming and agriculture-related businesses are about 30% of the Iowa economy, will be a win/win for Iowa and bring cheaper prices at the pump! Smaller gas stations selling less than 300,000 gallons of gasoline annually that would have huge costs in upgrading their infrastructure can apply for a waiver from this requirement.
We also passed and sent to the Governor’s desk HF 2355, a bill to lower the weeks of collecting unemployment from 26 to 16, except for plant closures which was lowered from 39 to 26 weeks. The intent is to change the unemployment system to a reemployment system as Iowa is facing a workforce shortage.
I hope you all have a safe, healthy, and wonderful week!