Iowa lawmakers, America’s Renewable Future call for strong RFS

By America’s Renewable Future | May 27, 2015

Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; Steve King, R-Iowa; David Young, R-Iowa, and Rod Blum, R-Iowa,—Iowa’s entire federal delegation—urged the EPA to keep the renewable volume obligation (RVO) levels consistent with Congress’s intent when the renewable fuel standard (RFS) became law. The EPA is set to propose RVO targets for 2014, 2015, and 2016 by June 1.

The RVO rules will determine how much clean, secure, American renewable fuel like ethanol and biodiesel will have access to our motor fuel market. Uncertainty surrounding the rule has frozen investment in the advanced biofuels industry to the tune of $13.7 billion, and put hundreds of thousands of American jobs at risk.

 “Farmers and biofuels producers have done their part.  The EPA needs to do its part,” Grassley said.  “The levels ought to reflect the reality of what can be accomplished in an unbiased way.  That’s what the law requires, and that’s what consumers who want fuel choices deserve.”

“It is critical that the EPA maintain a strong and long-term RFS for Iowa’s farmers and producers,” Ernst said. “I am focused on pushing the EPA to issue these long-overdue renewable-fuel levels which encourage consumer choice, investment and innovation.”

“The blending volumes are long overdue and need to be strong to not only ensure stability in the renewable energy sector, but also for the high quality jobs the industry has created, enabling cheaper, cleaner choices for consumers,” Loebsack said. “I encourage the EPA to not lose sight of the overall goal of this program, that is to take us into a new age of fuel and energy.”

"The RFS is the only tool that provides market access so that ethanol and other renewable fuels are sold in competition with petroleum. The Consumer Choice Provision was enacted by Congress and sets the framework for RFS targets in law. The EPA, in another example of executive overreach, rolled back the RFS targets, presumably because of short grain supplies and high grain prices,” said King, “We have since harvested the largest corn crop ever and seen prices cut in half. The EPA needs to follow the law and restore the RFS targets according to the directive of Congress."

“In Iowa, we lead the nation in ethanol production and we are second in biodiesel production. This industry is incredibly important; the EPA has delayed long enough and this has created uncertainty across the board,” said Young, “Ultimately, I expect the EPA to follow the law, so I am hopeful the renewable volume obligation (RVO) levels will reflect that when it is announced on June 1.”

 “As a career small businessman, I know that uncertainty hurts businesses who are contemplating future investments and trying to plan production,” said Blum. “It's time for the EPA to take responsibility and release RVO targets consistent with current law so both farmers and producers can move forward.”

“Iowa’s leaders have worked tirelessly to protect the RFS and competition in the motor fuel marketplace, and they understand the critical need for a strong rule,” said former Lt. Gov. and ARF Co-Chair Patty Judge, “We are proud to stand with our delegation in calling on the EPA to choose rural economies and competition in the marketplace over oil industry lobbyists.”