Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today renewed their call for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore a robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and abandon their proposed rule that would cost Iowans jobs, decrease consumer choice at the pump and increase our nation's dependency on foreign oil.
According to an Associated Press report, Sen. Al Fraken (D-Minn.) said after meeting with White House officials that he believes the EPA will only partially restore the RFS volume obligation levels for 2014.
"While we're encouraged to see the potential for movement from the Obama Administration, we believe they need to act right away to fully restore a robust Renewable Fuel Standard. Because of the uncertainty at the federal level, corn is now selling below the cost of production," said Branstad. "State and federal officials have worked in a bipartisan manner on this critically important issue. I'm hopeful the Environmental Protection Agency will act to protect Iowa jobs, rural development and Iowa agriculture."
"Now is not the time to retreat from a robust Renewable Fuel Standard that increases consumer choice, creates jobs, encourages economic growth and reduces our dependency on foreign oil," said Reynolds. "The people of Iowa and America have spoken clearly, protect the RFS and abandon the ill-advised Environmental Protection Agency proposal today."
"A strong RFS is vitally important to ensure Iowa customers have access to domestically produced, clean burning ethanol and biodiesel. The law is working as intended and it is wrong for the EPA to act against congressional intent. I hope the Obama administration will listen to the thousands of comments supporting access to renewable fuels and fully restore the RFS," Northey said.
Highlights of Iowa leaders' engagement on the RFS include:
State and Federal elected officials, including Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, participated in a "Defend the RFS" event.
Gov. Branstad traveled to Washington, DC, joining a group of Iowa farmers and biofuels producers, to testify at the Federal government's only public hearing and met with EPA Administrator McCarthy.
Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Bill Northey and the entire Iowa congressional delegation sent a joint letter to Federal leaders advocating for the many benefits that flow from the RFS.
Gov. Terry Branstad and Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) penned an op-ed in support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.
Gov. Terry Branstad brought together a bipartisan group of six governors to sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their support for a strong RFS.
Leaders from across the Midwest joined Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their "Hearing in Heartland," which was open to all interested citizens; 83 panelists from across the Midwest Region spoke from the heart about the importance of the RFS to their livelihoods and a healthy rural economy while only two individuals expressed opposition to a robust RFS.
Gov. Branstad, in his Condition of the State address, called on the Iowa Legislature to pass a resolution in support a robust RFS. The Legislature unanimously passed bicameral, bipartisan resolutions calling for the EPA to reverse course and support a strong RFS. View the resolutions: House Resolution 101 | Senate Resolution 101
State of Iowa leaders submitted formal comments to the EPA with current data and analysis that provides Federal leaders the opportunity and obligation to revise their initial volume obligations upward.