Iowa to Trump: Thousands of Jobs at Stake in RFS Decision
October 18, 2017
Contact: Cassidy Walter
Governor Reynolds raises significant concerns over recent EPA proposals to rollback RFS
JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and other biofuels leaders sent a clear message to President Donald Trump: the EPA is jeopardizing the President’s commitment to biofuels and thousands of American jobs.
The Governor questioned recent EPA proposals that threaten to rollback the Renewable Fuel Standard at a press conference at Two Rivers Cooperative in Pella on Wednesday, October 18.
“The purpose of the Renewable Fuel Standard is to grow demand for biofuels while driving the industry to innovate,” Reynolds said. “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.”
EPA recently announced it is considering cuts to the RFS for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and advanced biofuels. Several news outlets have also reported EPA is considering allowing ethanol exports to generate RINs for RFS compliance, which would effectively result in more than a one billion-gallon cut to the 15 billion-gallon corn ethanol RFS level.
“The July RFS proposal wasn’t good, but Iowans optimistically clung to President Trump’s promise to make renewable fuels an integral part of an America First energy plan and hoped for the best in a final rule,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “But in recent weeks EPA has delivered a one-two punch that makes it clear the EPA is not on track to uphold the President’s commitment to biofuels. The President must intervene to put the EPA back on track with his own publicly expressed energy views or risk irrevocably losing the trust of rural Americans.”
Iowa Lt. Governor Adam Gregg raised concerns over the economic ramifications of cutting RFS levels.
“The proposed contraction of the RFS threatens thousands of Iowa farmers and workers who rely on biofuels to support their livelihood,” Gregg said.
Today IRFA released a study of the economic impact of recent ethanol and biodiesel plant expansions, which have resulted from the market stability a robust RFS provides. The study found the biofuels industry is in the middle of a historic period of plant expansions that will result in roughly 11 thousand new rural Iowa jobs.
“Renewable fuels have more to offer America, but if the EPA follows through with proposals to cut RFS levels, not only will these 11 thousand new jobs disappear, the rural ag economy may well spiral into an economic downturn unlike anything the United States has seen since the farm crisis of the 1980s,” stated Shaw.
To view the study, go to: iowarfa.org/economicimpactofexpansions/
IRFA is encouraging all biofuels supporters to make their voices heard and tell EPA to follow President Trump’s lead. The deadline to submit comments on EPA’s proposed action is Thursday, October 19. Supporters can go to iowarfa.org/don’t-cut-rfs to sign IRFA’s petition to EPA.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually – including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 380 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org.