Iowa Leaders Call on EPA to Reverse Course on Threats Against Biofuels

Pella, IA – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg today joined leaders from across the state to voice their concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consideration of proposals to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), reduce federal biofuel targets, and threaten rural jobs. 

The duo hosted a press conference at Pella, Iowa’s Two Rivers Cooperative alongside Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Grant Kimberley, Executive Director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, and Dennis Bogaards, a soybean and corn farmer in the Pella community.

"The purpose of the Renewable Fuel Standard is to grow demand for biofuel while driving the industry to innovate,” said Governor Reynolds, who recently spearheaded a letter on biofuels to the EPA from four Midwestern governors.

“Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposals seem to take us backward, not forward. 

While I have appreciated the accessibility of the EPA and have had many positive conversations about the RFS, I have some significant concerns with the direction the agency appears to be taking."

“The proposed contraction of the RFS threatens thousands of Iowa farmers and workers who rely on biofuels to support their livelihood,” added Lieutenant Governor Gregg.

“President Trump vowed to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which is also unveiling a new study on the economic and employment contributions of biofuels in Iowa. 

“But today, the EPA is considering schemes to cut corn ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. 

EPA Administrator Pruitt has made clear he is not interested in implementing the spirit of the RFS. 

Folks in rural America are upset and feel betrayed. 

Their message is clear:  President Trump must take action to put the EPA back on track and not allow the RFS to be systematically destroyed.  

One path leads to hope for the heartland.  

The other leads to rural economic ruin and a breach of trust that will not be repaired.”

“The RFS is a vital policy that has fostered investments across every segment of the rural economy, from farming to manufacturing,” said Delayne D. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Iowa’s Quad County Corn Processors, which has pioneered technology to convert agricultural residue, namely corn kernel fiber, into cellulosic biofuels. 

“Cellulosic biofuels are poised to drive a wave of manufacturing investments across the heartland of the United States. 

The White House needs to remind the EPA that undermining the RFS sends a terrible signal to investors that America is not interested in leading the world in energy innovation.”

The RFS is America’s most successful energy policy, working for the past 12 years to provide consumers with cleaner, more affordable options at the pump while reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. 

Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst recently outlined their opposition to the proposed cuts in a bipartisan letter signed by 38 U.S. Senators.