DES MOINES/WASHINGTON – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released statements upon learning of the Environmental Protection Agency’s finalized Renewable Fuel Standard rule regarding volume obligations within the program that is vital to agriculture and rural economic development. With the final EPA rule, the State of Iowa is well-positioned to further advance our leadership in renewable fuels.
“I am very encouraged that the EPA has decided to increase its conventional renewable fuel volume requirement to the levels set by Congress for 2017, putting the program back on the right track,” said Governor Branstad. “Although the biodiesel numbers did not grow as much as the industry advocated, I understand that biodiesel is best positioned to compete for increased volumes in the increased advanced biofuels category. Federal decisions have led to unnecessary uncertainty in agriculture and the biofuels industry the last few years. In this week of Thanksgiving, Iowans should generally be thankful that our nation is moving back toward a robust RFS that is vital to the revitalization of rural America.”
“In America’s heartland, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is recognized as a vital Federal policy,” noted Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. “A strong RFS supports hard working farmers who rely on value-add opportunities for their commodities. Numerous Iowans have rewarding careers in the biofuels industry and the RFS also diversifies America’s energy portfolio that gives consumers true choices at the fuel pump. I’m grateful for these positive steps forward in the RFS.”
The EPA finalized a total renewable fuel volume of 19.28 billion gallons (BG) — 4.28 BG is advanced biofuel and 311 million gallons is cellulosic biofuel. Thus, the RVO for conventional biofuels, like corn ethanol, increased from the 14.8 BG proposed in May to 15 BG in the final rule.
The State of Iowa has long supported the biofuels industry. Consumers deserve a choice at the pump and the RFS is important to ensuring they have that choice.
Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds have been engaged in calling for a strong and robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for several years.
Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) issued the following statement. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Bustos has been an advocate for increasing the use of biofuels to help break our addiction to foreign fossil fuels and strengthen Illinois’ family farmers.
“Today is a major step forward for our farmers and biofuel producers who want to be a part of the solution as we work to achieve American energy independence,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Every time we choose to use biofuels instead of imported oil, we choose to put American jobs and American innovation first. I am very pleased that the EPA listened to us and agreed to increase biofuel usage in the Renewable Fuel Standard.”