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Iowa Senators Say Iowa Ethanol Producers Could Bridge the Gap in the US Gasoline Supply After Ban on Russian Oil; COVID Numbers Still Sliding in Iowa

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Federal officials are reporting Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to drop.

As of today 154 Iowans are currently hospitalized for COVID-19.

That’s down from last week’s number of 202.

State health officials confirmed nearly 16 hundred positive COVID-19 tests in the past seven days.

They also confirmed in the past week an additional 91 deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s total death count to more than 92 hundred.

The Centers for Disease Control is reporting that three Iowa counties Clay, Dickinson and Palo Alto counties have high community levels of COVID-19. They are.

Officials are recommending people in those counties wear masks in indoor public settings.

According to state data, 58 percent of all Iowans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

U.S. gas prices are soaring to a record high following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. IPR’s Katie Peikes reports, Iowa’s U.S. Senators are introducing bipartisan legislation to replace Russian oil imports with biofuels.

President Joe Biden has announced a ban on Russian oil imports. Iowa Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst want him to take it a step further. They’ve announced legislation to put the ban into law. And use biofuels - like gasoline with 15 percent ethanol - in Russian oil’s place. Grassley says biofuels are a better solution than turning to Venezuela for oil.

Iowa producers stand ready to meet the moment and to ramp up production. The answer is biofuels not OPEC oil.

The bill would establish an E-15 and biodiesel tax credit. It would also help gas stations move to more compatible infrastructure to be able to sell biofuels. I’m Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio news.

A new report has ranked Iowa in the top tier when it comes to emergency preparedness.

The annual report from the non-profit Trust for America’s Health ranked states’ emergency preparedness based on 10 factors.

This includes their ability to expand health care in an emergency and workers’ access to paid time off.

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