Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on December 4 joined industry leaders on a conference call to defend the federal Renewable Fuel Standard or RFS. He did this one day prior to traveling to Washington, D.C. to personally urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore a strong and robust RFS. Joining Governor Branstad on the trip to testify were several Iowa livestock producers, farmers and renewable fuels leaders.
Branstad stated: "I was governor during the Farm Crisis of the '80s when land values dropped 63%. I know what can happen when you have an agriculture depression, and we don't want to go back and revisit that."
Given the sharp fall in the price of corn since the EPA's proposal was first leaked, Branstad noted the price of corn is already "below the cost of production. The decision the EPA is going to make will have dramatic implications on the economic viability of communities all across this Midwest agricultural heartland. I'm concerned that this would be devastating to what has been a robust economic recovery here in the strongest region of the United States."
Iowa governor says there's a great need to continue the progress and growth that's already occurred
Branstad urged President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that "there's no reason why they should flinch under the pressure of Big Oil at this critical time. We need to continue the progress and the growth that has occurred and the benefit that this has to revitalizing rural America." Branstad also urges the public to click on http://www.regulations.gov/ and leave a message, telling EPA what you think of the RFS.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
"I applaud Governor Branstad's steadfast support of a strong federal RFS," said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw. "The governor is correct that the RFS lowers gasoline prices, gives consumers more freedom at the pump and boosts rural economies. Iowans will stand up to the misinformation of Big Oil. This great group of Iowa farmers, livestock producers, and renewable fuels leaders who joined Governor Branstad in Washington, D.C. will show EPA that its proposal to scale back renewable fuels production has terrible, wide-ranging effects throughout many sectors of the economy."
Iowans joining Gov. Branstad on the trip to D.C. included:
Mark Leonard, cattle feeder, cow herd owner, local banker
Mark Wigans, crop farmer and cow herd owner
Rick Hansen, famer and cattle feeder
Roger Zylstra, President, Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA)
Mark Recker, Chairman, Iowa Corn Usage and Production Committee
Rick Schwarck, President, Absolute Energy and IRFA
Tom Brooks, General Manager, Western Dubuque Biodiesel
Jeff Johannesmeyer, General Manager, Western Iowa Energy
Grant Menke, Policy Director, IRFA
Randy Olson, Executive Director, Iowa Biodiesel Board
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.
For more information, visit the IRFA website.