Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a "landmark" biofuels bil

Gov. Reynolds signs Iowa's comprehensive biofuels legislation into law from the Cannon/Wassenaar farm near Prairie City. (Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)

Governor signs historic biofuels bill

May 19, 2022 | Jeff Hutton

A few pesky raindrops may have fallen during Tuesday’s landmark biofuels bill signing in Prairie City, but as a member of the assembled group standing behind Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds noted as she signed the 2022 Biofuel Access Bill into law: “These raindrops are like tears of joy.”

“This is an exciting day for Iowa,” said Gov. Reynolds as she stood on a flatbed trailer surrounded by dignitaries and supporters. “For over a year, we’ve been working on different versions of this bill … it’s truly a testament that good faith discussion, negotiation and compromise can pay off.

“I’ve never been prouder than I am today to be the Governor of the No. 1 ethanol and biodiesel-producing state in the country.”

Iowa Soybean Association President Robb Ewoldt, a soybean farmer from Davenport, said the legislation signifies a huge win for Iowa’s 40,000 soybean farmers and for all Iowans.

“This legislation positively contributes to farmer success, air quality and economic growth in our local communities,” he said.

Biodiesel production supports 13% of the per bushel price of soybeans, which equated to approximately $1.78 per bushel in 2021. It also reduces feed costs for livestock producers by $25 to $40 per ton.

The law encourages the sale of higher blends of biodiesel through an incentive-based approach. It will also make E15 ethanol more available statewide, and updates infrastructure cost-share opportunities for retailers to improve access to higher blends of biofuels.

The biodiesel portion of the bill increases the Biodiesel Production Tax Credit from 2 to 4 cents per gallon; maintains the current Biodiesel Fuel Tax Differential but applies this to blends of 20% biodiesel (B20) rather than B11; extends fuel retailer tax credits for B11 and higher, while introducing new credits for higher blends (7 cents per gallon for B20 and 10 cents per gallon for B30); and updates the state’s Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program to encourage higher blends.

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and ISA senior director of market development also praised the news, explaining the 2022 Biofuels Access Bill is the first piece of legislation passed in the U.S. to incentivize 30% biodiesel (B30).

“We commend Gov. Reynolds for leading the introduction of this legislation and making its passage a priority,” Kimberley said. “She has shown herself time and again to be a national leader in fostering biofuels. We anticipate this will greatly increase consumer access to higher blends of biodiesel in Iowa.

“A diverse fuel supply with more low-carbon fuel made in America benefits everyone from soybean farmers to the end consumer. We are eager to move Iowa’s energy transformation onward and upward toward more B20 and B30.”

The governor said biofuels help power Iowa’s economy and the legislation could not have come at a better time.

“What we do here reverberates far beyond our borders,” she said. “When we talk, people listen. This historic bill makes Iowa the first state in the nation to adopt an E15 standard.”

Corn and soybean farmers Will and Cassie Cannon, joined by landowner Gordon Wassenaar, hosted the bill signing at their farm just outside of Prairie City.

“As a farmer here in the state of Iowa, this bill means a lot to me,” Will Cannon said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work and persistence to farm full-time. But it’s also taken markets and good prices, so that someone like me has an opportunity to farm.”

As the raindrops cleared, Reynolds made it clear this legislation will serve as a bright day for Iowa’s history books and its immediate future:

“America’s energy is growing right here in Iowa’s fields.”