Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 13 renewed their call for the Obama Administration to support a robust Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. As government officials from other states and from the federal government are in Iowa this week to discuss climate issues and the environment, Branstad and Reynolds issued a press release on May 13 to catch the attention of the visitors. The visiting officials are taking part in a climate conference in Des Moines May 13-14.
Branstad and Reynolds said they believe the Obama Administration should "focus on empowering consumers with additional and lower-cost choices at the pump, diversifying our nation's energy portfolio, reducing transportation emissions, supporting the growth of the Midwest economy, and reducing our dependence on overseas oil through a strengthened RFS."
A number of elected officials from Iowa, including Branstad, Reynolds, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Northey, and the entire Iowa congressional delegation "have repeatedly encouraged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse course on the agency's short-sighted proposed 2014 RFS volume obligation levels," says Branstad.
Biofuels are a key part of the solution to reducing emissions
"President Obama recently indicated that he would take every executive action possible and leverage every existing authority to move the economy forward and advance his agenda. The President and EPA Administrator McCarthy have existing authority to grow the production and use of renewable fuels," says Branstad. "If the President is serious about advancing renewables, like biofuels, as a solution to reducing emissions, then I encourage him to pick up the phone to direct senior leaders in his Administration to support a robust RFS. President Obama's Administration can nurture, through the stroke of a pen, future economic growth in rural America and common sense energy policy."
"We are proud of Iowa's leadership in the production and use of renewable energy -- both wind energy and biofuels. The RFS provides consumers choices at the fuel pump, and when given that choice, they often choose renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel," said Reynolds. "I renew the bipartisan call from leaders across Iowa, and entire Midwest region, for the Obama Administration to support a robust RFS."
By supporting a robust RFS, U.S. leaders can help diversify energy
Iowa is a leader in diversifying our nation's energy portfolio through the production of renewable fuels, like wind energy and biofuels. Iowa leads the nation in wind power generation and places third behind only Texas and California for wind energy capacity. In 2013, Iowa was ranked among the top 12 states in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Iowa also leads the nation in biofuels production. By supporting a robust RFS, the Obama Administration can diversify our nation's transportation fuels, add value to commodities grown in rural America, reduce emissions, and provide consumers low-cost choices at the pump.
Highlights of Iowa leaders' engagement on the RFS include:
1. State and Federal elected officials, including Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, participated in a "Defend the RFS" event.
2. Gov. Branstad traveled to Washington, DC, joining a small group of Iowa farmers and biofuels producers, to testify at the Federal government's only public hearing and met with EPA Administrator McCarthy.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. The Iowa 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
7. 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.