In the early hours of this morning, July 12, 2012 the U.S. House Agriculture Committee voted 35 to 11 to approve its version of the farm bill. As introduced by the Republican leadership, the bill would modify the existing Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) by specifically excluding blender pumps from eligibility.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association board's top priority for this farm bill is maintaining eligibility and funding for blender pump installations under the REAP program. Last month the U.S. Senate passed its version of a farm bill, which maintained blender pump eligibility for the REAP program.
IRFA executive director Monte Shaw made the following statement on July 12, following the U.S. House Agriculture Committee vote:
"It was very disappointing to see the blender pump exclusion maintained in the House Ag Committee Farm Bill. IRFA's No. 1 priority for this farm bill will be to ensure the final version includes blender pumps. IRFA was pleased to see the Senate maintained this vital program. All too often over the past year, the House seems more interested in carrying the water to protect Big Oil's near monopoly on fuel than in providing American consumers with the freedom to choose their own fuel -- perhaps a lower-cost ethanol blend -- at the pump. IRFA will continue to work with Iowa's Congressional delegation to see that American fueling freedom is advanced with the inclusion of blender pump eligibility in the final farm bill."
Shaw continues, "The U.S. House has voted to ban E15, to end the biofuels tax credits, and to discriminate against blender pumps. Yet, the House has done nothing to end the 'Century of Subsidies' for Big Oil, to end the federal loan guarantee program for petroleum pipelines, to break up the petroleum distribution monopoly, or to remove the federal 85% petroleum mandate. It's becoming quite an embarrassing record for the House and voters in Iowa are taking note."
U.S. government gives massive protection, subsidies for Big Oil companies
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuel production. Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.7 billion gallons annually and one new facility under construction. In addition, Iowa has 13 biodiesel facilities with capacity to produce 320 million gallons annually. IRFA was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The group fosters development and growth of the renewable fuel industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.
For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at www.IowaRFA.org