Governors advocate for robust RFS

By Erin Voegele | December 30, 2013

A group of six Midwestern governors, led by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, recently sent a letter to President Obama, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack expressing their opposition to the EPA’s 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) proposal. In addition to Branstad, the letter was signed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Dugaard, and Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

Within the letter, the governors stress that the EPA’s 2014 RFS proposal would not only reduce ethanol and biodiesel choices for consumers, it would also negatively impact family incomes, the diversification of the U.S. energy portfolio, and economic development in rural communities. In addition, they said it would hurt nationwide efforts to reduce emissions.

According to the letter, more than 400,000 Americans currently depend on renewable fuels for good-paying jobs. As many as 44,500 of these jobs could be lost due to the RFS proposals. “This proposed rule would greatly hinder our state’s efforts to foster policies that create jobs, grow facility incomes and revitalize our economies,” wrote the governors in the letter. They also note that the negative impact would be disproportionately felt by rural America.

“We urge your administration to use its regulatory authority in a manner that both supports a growing renewable fuels industry and meets the statutory requirements of the law. Specifically, we hope that you will encourage the EPA to increase the biodiesel volume to reflect current production levels, modify the cellulosic target to match production expectations, and reinstate the statutory conventional renewable fuel target since there is clearly no domestic supply shortage. The gradually increasing RFS levels have been an important part of diversifying our nation’s transportation fuels and reducing fuel costs at the pump,” the governors concluded in the letter.

A full copy of the letter is available on Branstad’s website