Reynolds’ proposed biofuels mandate causing division in Iowa


Reynolds’ proposed biofuels mandate causing division in Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ proposed biofuels mandate has quickly become divisive.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association director Monte Shaw says by setting a 10 percent minimum ethanol standard for gasoline fuel and 11 percent minimum standard for biodiesel, farm incomes would increase, costs to motorists would decrease, and air quality would improve.

But FUELIowa CEO Ronald Langston tells Brownfield they would rather see an incentive-driven legislative process.

“The fuel industry has created, working with agriculture (and) without any mandates, over $1 billion-worth of investment and sales in the biofuels arena.”

FUELIowa is part of the newly formed Fuel Choice Coalition that opposes the mandate.  Members include retail chains Casey’s, Kum and Go, and Kwik Star.

Iowa House Agriculture Committee chairman Ross Paustian does not support the biofuels standard because he says it fails to address the concerns of retailers.

“I think our caucus would be pretty split on it. There will be a lot of people for it, especially farmers, and there will be some people against it. And it kind of puts me in the crosshairs, being a farmer to come out against that might be a little tough on me. But we’ll see what happens.”

The Scott County Republican says the bill has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee because of changes to some tax credits.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association says the legislation would give all consumers in the state the opportunity to select a clean-burning, cost-effective fuel at the pump and will proactively see it through to the finish line.

Monte Shaw interview:

Ronald Langston interview:

Ross Paustian interview:

This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.

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