DICKINSON COUNTY, IOWA – At yesterday’s FUELIowa summer board meeting, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), one of the Senate’s only corn farmers, delivered remarks on federal policies and regulations affecting the biofuels industry, as well as efforts to secure permanent authorization for year-round E15 sales.

“I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly with Iowa’s fuel distributors, refiners, and biofuel producers about the importance of biofuel and E15 infrastructure. Hearing from Iowa’s energy leaders informs my policymaking decisions in Washington,” Grassley said. “Iowa ranks first in the nation in biofuel production. These fuels provide a vital market for farmers and rural communities across the state creating 40,000 jobs in Iowa – all while offering lower carbon emissions than their petroleum counterparts. This is why I continue to support funding for the USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Program, to ensure all gas stations are able to make the investments needed to add E15-compliant pumps and tanks.” 

Senator Grassley is a leading advocate for biofuel production and E15 infrastructure implementation. He continues to push legislation to allow the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, and has pushed administrations of both political parties to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

Following remarks, Grassley took questions and discussed the Biden administration’s counterproductive energy policies, which started with its day-one order to halt Keystone XL pipeline construction, and since, has consisted of terminating federal oil and gas leases, importing crude oil from adversaries and draining the strategic petroleum reserve to historically low levels.  

Grassley’s prepared remarks follow.


Prepared Remarks by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
FUELIowa Summer Board Meeting
Thursday, August 3, 2023

Thank you for the invitation to speak to the FUEL Iowa Board Meeting.  

I often say Washington D.C. is an island surrounded by reality – and that is why I am glad to be here speaking to the folks who provide for both rural and urban Iowans in their everyday real life. 

I am well on my way to completing my 43rd annual 99 county tour and will finish the tour by the end of this month.  

Since I have been to every county every year for 43 years, I am guessing there is no Iowan who has been to more gas stations across the state than me.  

Your gas stations serve as a vital lifeline for the communities you serve. Your gas stations act as a crucial link between citizens of towns across Iowa and the rest of the world.  

As you all know, many of these towns are surrounded by corn and soybean fields which in turn produce ethanol and biodiesel.  

Iowa ranks first in the nation in biofuel production and it is why I am such an advocate for these fuels.  

They provide a vital market for farmers and rural communities across the state.   

In addition, they offer lower carbon emissions than their petroleum counterparts, which have become more of a part of the fuel conversations. 

But, in order for ethanol and biodiesel to expand, we either need Americans to drive more miles or more people to be able to select higher blends at your stations.

We all know the problem we are currently facing with the E15 summertime driving season not providing you with all the certainty you need.  

I am hopeful we can soon resolve this issue.  

Conversations have picked up between Senator Fischer and Senator Capito. We need to get a fix across the finish line before the end of the year so that we are not facing the same dilemma next summer. 

I also know that adding E15 infrastructure to gas stations is not cheap. That is why I continue to support funding for the USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Program.  

This funding is essential for gas stations in Iowa to make the investments needed to add E15 compliant pumps and tanks.  

This funding has largely been focused on the largest chains, but I want to make sure that all stations can cut through the red tape for this program. 

While the initial investment can be costly, the long-term benefits it brings to customers are very valuable.  

Considering that Iowa has over 86,000 family farms, farmers are glad to fill up with E15 because they know they helped contribute to that gallon of gas.  

Back in Washington, D.C. we have a lot of work to do when we get back from the August recess.  

We will need to finish work on the National Defense Authorization Act, fund the government for the next fiscal year, and, of course, we will need to complete a Farm Bill by the end of the year. 

So, we have a busy fall to accomplish many important items for our country. 

In closing, I want to thank you again for the invitation and for what you provide to Iowans.  

I know that gas stations provide more than just a place to refuel, but provide a meeting point for friends, families, and travelers.  

Thank you for serving as that meeting place every day and for serving as the meeting place for this conversation.