Iowa has long been the nation’s leader in ethanol and biodiesel production, turning homegrown corn and soybeans into cleaner-burning fuel.

Which raises a question – why does our state’s promotion of biofuels lag behind other Midwestern states?

State lawmakers are attempting to answer that question with legislation that would make E-10 (fuel blended with 10 percent ethanol) the standard at Iowa gas stations, while still giving consumers the choice to buy fuel with no ethanol.

So why pass an E-10 standard?

1) It helps Iowa catch up to other Midwestern states.

Establishing an E-10 standard is a proven, common sense approach that has worked for decades in other Midwestern states, including Minnesota and Missouri. Why wouldn’t Iowa (the national leader in ethanol production) want to catch up to its neighbors in promoting ethanol sales?

2) It's good for our communities.

Ethanol's benefits aren't just felt by the farm families who grow corn. Those benefits extend to rural communities and businesses, to biofuel plants, and to everyone driving in and through our state who appreciates a cost effective, homegrown, renewable and cleaner-burning fuel (that actually enhances their engine performance by boosting power and efficiency).

3) It's better for the environment.

A new study, conducted by scientists at Harvard and other universities, shows that corn ethanol’s carbon intensity is 46% lower than that of gasoline. In addition, the study found that some corn ethanol, depending on how it's made, can achieve up to a 61% reduction in GHG emissions.

Why pass an E-10 standard? For those who value the economic and environmental benefits of Iowa’s homegrown fuel, the more appropriate question is “why not”?