Branstad, Iowans Travel to D.C. to Defend the RFS

Press Contact: Monte Shaw


Iowa Governor Leads Group of Farmers, Livestock Producers and Industry Leaders on Mission to Restore a Strong and Robust RFS

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad today joined industry leaders on a conference call to defend the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), one day prior to traveling to Washington, D.C. to personally urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore a strong and robust RFS.  Joining Gov. Branstad on the trip to testify are several Iowa livestock producers, farmers and renewable fuels leaders.

During today’s conference call, Branstad stated:  “I was governor during the Farm Crisis of the ‘80s when land values dropped 63 percent.  I know what can happen when you have an agriculture depression, and we don’t want to go back and revisit that.”

Given the sharp fall in the price of corn since the EPA’s proposal was first leaked, Branstad noted the price of corn is already “below the cost of production… The decision the EPA is going to make will have dramatic implications on the economic viability of communities all across this Midwest agricultural heartland.  I’m concerned that this would be devastating to what has been a robust economic recovery here in the strongest region of the United States.”

Branstad concluded by urging President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that “there’s no reason why they should flinch under the pressure of Big Oil at this critical time.  We need to continue the progress and the growth that has occurred and the benefit that this has to revitalizing rural America.”

“I applaud our Governor’s steadfast support of a strong federal RFS,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “The Governor is correct that the RFS lowers gasoline prices, gives consumers more freedom at the pump and boosts rural economies. Iowans will stand up to the misinformation of Big Oil, and the great group of Iowa farmers, livestock producers, and renewable fuels leaders joining Governor Branstad in D.C. will show the EPA that its proposal to scale back renewable fuels production has terrible, wide-ranging effects throughout many sectors of the economy.”

Iowans joining Gov. Branstad include:

  • Mark Leonard, cattle feeder, cow herd owner, local banker
  • Mark Wigans, crop farmer and cow herd owner
  • Rick Hansen, famer and cattle feeder
  • Roger Zylstra, President, Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA)
  • Mark Recker, Chairman, Iowa Corn Usage and Production Committee
  • Rick Schwarck, President, Absolute Energy and IRFA
  • Tom Brooks, General Manager, Western Dubuque Biodiesel
  • Jeff Johannesmeyer, General Manager, Western Iowa Energy
  • Grant Menke, Policy Director, IRFA
  • Randy Olson, Executive Director, Iowa Biodiesel Board

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.