Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, agriculture Sec. Bill Northey and DOT Director Paul Trombino today announced a new biofuels pilot program called "Fueling Our Future," a public-private partnership that aims to assist in expanding the market for mid-level biofuels blends, building on Iowa's history as a leader in ethanol and biodiesel development and production.
Through the use of current funding, this initiative will redirect federal funds to further leverage state dollars in the existing renewable fuel infrastructure program, establishing more blender pumps containing E-30 and biodiesel at gas retailers around the state.
"This pilot program will provide Iowans with additional access to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, which will help our farmers, communities and economy in producing, processing and profiting locally," said Branstad.
Iowa State University will work closely on this initiative to evaluate consumer perceptions and the impact of increased assess to mid-level biofuels blending options, including impacts on improved air quality.
"Iowa's success in biofuels is due to our abundant natural resources, the hard work that goes into its production, and the choice that consumers make in supporting locally-produced and renewable biofuels," said Reynolds. "I look forward to the installation of these new mid-level blender pumps at locations around Iowa next spring and am hopeful that neighboring states will take a similar approach."
The Fueling Our Future program will be supported by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Department of Transportation, Iowa State University and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board.
"This initiative is a great example of coordination and collaboration between the DOT and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship," said Trombino. "Better leveraging resources from a variety of stakeholders in this public-private partnership will help increase market access to biofuels for Iowa consumers and further diversify our energy portfolio."
Northey highlighted the value-added component.
"Iowa has a robust biofuels industry that is an important value-add to our state's agricultural sector," said Northey. "Bolstering biofuels infrastructure will help Iowa consumers and farmers through increased access to these renewable fuels that are produced right here in Iowa."