Branstad, Reynolds release statement on EPA’s renewable volume obligation levelsWritten by Theresa Rose on May 29, 2015
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released statements upon learning of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard volume levels proposal for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The proposal states the, “EPA is proposing volumes which, while below the volumes originally set by Congress, would increase renewable fuel use in the U.S. above historical levels and provide for steady growth over time.”
“We are disappointed that the EPA failed to follow the renewable volume levels set by Congress. But, we’re encouraged that the Agency has provided some stability for producers by releasing a new RFS proposal, and made slight increases from their previous proposal,” said Branstad. “Already, Iowa farmland has dropped by 15 percent , corn and soybean prices have dropped by 40-50 percent since 2012 and farm income is expected to decline 32 percent this year. Maintaining a robust Renewable Fuel Standard is extremely important for Iowans and families across the country.”
“The lack of uncertainty surrounding a Renewable Fuels Standard has been devastating to farmland values, farm income and commodity prices,” said Reynolds. “We’re encouraged that the EPA recognized the importance of renewable fuels after failing to adopt volume obligation levels in years past. While we believe a more robust Renewable Fuel Standard would be ideal, we welcome the slight increase that will help to continue providing consumers choice at the pump, create jobs, increase incomes and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The State of Iowa has supported both the production and use of biofuels, including renewable fuel infrastructure development through the Fueling Our Future Program and the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, to ensure that consumers have true choices at the pump.
Branstad and Reynolds have been engaged in calling for a strong and robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for over a year.
Highlights of Iowa leaders’ engagement on the RFS include:
State and Federal elected officials, including Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, participated in a “Defend the RFS” event.
Gov. Branstad traveled to Washington, DC, joining a group of Iowa farmers and biofuels producers, to testify at the Federal government’s only public hearing and met with EPA Administrator McCarthy.
Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Bill Northey and the entire Iowa congressional delegation sent a joint letter to Federal leaders advocating for the many benefits that flow from the RFS.
Gov. Terry Branstad and Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) penned an op-ed in support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.
Gov. Terry Branstad brought together a bipartisan group of six governors to sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their support for a strong RFS.
Leaders from across the Midwest joined Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their “Hearing in Heartland,” which was open to all interested citizens; 83 panelists from across the Midwest Region spoke from the heart about the importance of the RFS to their livelihoods and a healthy rural economy while only two individuals expressed opposition to a robust RFS.
Gov. Branstad, in his Condition of the State address, called on the Iowa Legislature to pass a resolution in support of a robust RFS. The Legislature unanimously passed bicameral, bipartisan resolutions calling for the EPA to reverse course and support a strong RFS. View the resolutions: House Resolution 101 | Senate Resolution 101
State of Iowa leaders submitted formal comments to the EPA with current data and analysis that provides Federal leaders the opportunity and obligation to revise their initial volume obligations upward.