Iowa legislature approves funding for state blender pump program

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | May 04, 2018

On May 2, the Iowa Legislature voted to secure another year of funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program—a move that will spur economic activity across the state and support Iowa farmers.  

RFIP provides cost-share dollars to fuel retailers to install blender pumps and other equipment necessary to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. Last night the Iowa Legislature passed Senate File 2414, which included $3 million of funding for RFIP out of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund for fiscal year 2019. The bill now goes to Governor Kim Reynolds for her consideration.

“RFIP is doing exactly what it was designed to do – giving Iowans a great return on their investment while expanding consumer choice at the pump for higher biofuel blends,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Policy Director Grant Menke. “Interest in the program remains at an all-time high, and yesterday’s action by the Iowa Legislature will help continue this momentum.”

Since RFIP’s inception, every dollar of state funding for the program has resulted in $4 of private economic investment—totaling over $138 million in private economic activity. During its third quarterly meeting of fiscal year 2018, the RFIP Board awarded the remainder of all program funds to 15 projects. Some retailers were turned down for the first time in the program’s history due to the funds being exhausted.

“IRFA thanks the Iowa Legislature for its strong, bipartisan support of the RFIP program,” said Menke. “We especially want to thank Rep. Dan Huseman and Sen. Craig Johnson—the chairs of the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee—for prioritizing funding for the RFIP program in the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund budget.”

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 percent 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.  The RFIP is managed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. For more on the program, please click here.