Reynolds, Grassley continue to push Trump, Pruitt on RFS

By Erin Voegele | October 18, 2017

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and senators representing several Midwestern states are continuing to push President Donald Trump and U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to abandon proposed cuts to Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements.

On the afternoon of Oct. 18, Reynolds announced she had spoken with both Trump and Pruitt earlier in the day, expressing concern over proposed cuts to RFS renewable volume requirements (RVOs). She said she told Pruitt that the 2018 RVO should not be reduced beyond volumes previously proposed and stressed that the 2019 RVO should be increased to show growth. Reynolds also said she insisted that the RVO for conventional ethanol should not be cut and that RINs should not be tied to product that is exported since that defeats the intent of the law. In addition, Reynolds told Pruitt the Reid vapor pressure waiver should be extended to E15, allowing the fuel blend to be offered year-round.

Following the call with Pruitt, Reynolds said she spoke with Trump. “Both of them personally affirmed to me their continued commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Reynolds said. She added that she is extremely appreciative of the president’s continued support for rural America and said she knows the renewable fuel industry is poised to grow once the EPA sends positive and consistent market signals through increasing the RVOs.

Reynolds made her announcement during a FuelsAmerica press conference. During the even she also spoke of the role the RFS plays in supporting Iowa’s rural economy. The RFS plays a major role in sustaining Iowa’s ability to continue as an agriculture leader, she said, by giving farmers another market for their commodities. “This market access is especially crucial right now with the current depressed commodity prices that we see,” Reynolds added. “As the current ag economy experiences downturns, sustainability and predictability in renewable fuel markets are incredibly impactful to the bottom line of our farmers.”

Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg; Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association; Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board; and Dennis Bogaards, an Iowa soybean and corn farmer in the Pella community, also participated in the FuelsAmerica press conference.

One day prior to Reynolds’ announcement, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced that he and a group of other Midwestern senators met with Pruitt on Oct. 17.

“I’m glad Administrator Pruitt met with me and other senators and heard our concerns,” Grassley said. “I told Administrator Pruitt that supporting biofuels isn’t just good policy. It’s also what President Trump promised. I reiterated what the president told me personally and what he told Iowans during the campaign, that he’s for biofuels and for a strong RFS. That message seemed to be well-received by Administrator Pruitt. Renewable energies like biofuels are the backbone of so many local economies across the Midwest and key to meeting the country’s energy needs. This is about the president’s keeping his promise to the people and the executive branch’s executing the laws as passed by Congress. It’s Administrator Pruitt’s duty to follow congressional intent and also make good on President Trump’s pledge to support biofuels. I’ll oppose any effort to reduce blending levels or undermine the integrity of the RFS. I’m watching this issue closely and plan to hold the administration accountable.”