The Iowa Legislature voted to secure another year of funding for the state’s blender pump program, which has successfully led to millions of dollars worth of investment in new pumps and equipment that offer the choice of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends to consumers.
“The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) has played an imperative role in expanding consumer access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Policy Director Grant Menke. “Demand for renewable fuels has more momentum now than ever. In a tough budget year, we are very grateful to Governor Branstad and the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee for making this successful program a priority.”
House File 643, which the Iowa Legislature passed today, included funding for RFIP at $3 million for fiscal year 2018, ending June 30, 2018, as part of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. The bill now goes to Governor Terry Branstad for his consideration. Menke stressed the importance of ongoing funding.
“Continuation of RFIP will lead to millions more dollars in private investment and economic activity,” he said. “Ongoing funding would open up the market even more for access at the pump to cleaner burning fuels made right here in Iowa.”
Interest amongst Iowa retailers in offering renewable fuels is at an all-time high. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2017, RFIP has awarded 92 projects with $4.4 million in state grants to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. This funding leveraged two to three times that amount in private investment.
The Iowa 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, please click here.