With Iowa's Republican and Democratic nominations for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House general elections finalized in the June primary elections, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association recently congratulated all of the candidates. In a recent press release, the IRFA noted that each winning candidate selected by the voters in the June primary conveyed strong support for renewable fuels and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. IRFA conducted a survey of the candidates for federal office.
IRFA congratulates Iowa primary election winners
"It's encouraging to see such broad support for renewable fuels and support for a strong and growing RFS from all of the federal candidates who have been nominated to compete in the general election this coming November," says Walt Wendland, treasurer of IRFA's political action committee. "Not only did each of the candidates who won their party's nomination fill out the IRFA survey, they unanimously support the RFS and other important ethanol and biodiesel policies that ensure Americans will continue to have greater access to cleaner-burning, homegrown renewable fuels."
To view all of Iowa's federal candidates' responses to the IRFA survey, you can visit the IRFA website.
Iowa biofuel industry directly supports over 10,000 families
With more than 10,000 Iowa families invested in and/or employed by the renewable fuels industry, the IRFA seeks to keep the people of Iowa informed on where their respective federal candidates stand on important renewable fuels issues, he says. To that end, the IRFA sent a survey and background materials to each candidate seeking federal office in 2014, asking if the candidate supports, opposes or is undecided on important ethanol and biodiesel issues.
Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, including 2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol production and two cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The IRFA 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 www.iowarfa.org.
New report: Oil companies fail on consumer choice
In other related news, the IRFA reports that the national Renewable Fuels Association, or RFA, this week released its Consumer Choice Report Card. It shows that large oil companies are failing the public when it comes to offering E85 and E15, while some Iowa retailers received A+ grades for offering consumers cleaner-burning, more homegrown renewable fuels.
"Oil companies like to complain that consumers won't buy E85 and E15, but the simple truth is oil companies are failing to give consumers that choice," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "Conversely, we've seen that if you empower the consumer with fuel choice, they choose lower-cost, cleaner-burning ethanol blends. Iowa is on a run of record E85 sales with chains like Kum & Go and Kwik Trip leading the way."
Iowa retailers Kum & Go, Kwik Trip receive top grades
Shaw adds, "Independent Iowa retailers are also expanding access to E15 with incredible success, making Iowa the nation's leader. Unfortunately, oil companies are able to prevent their branded retailers from expanding consumer fuel choice."
"Cynically, oil companies frequently cite a shortage of fueling infrastructure as a reason why the EPA should lower the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard," notes RFA president Bob Dinneen. "Yet, as demonstrated in this analysis, the oil industry itself has deliberately created this shortage by making it as difficult and burdensome as possible for retail gas stations to offer greater volumes of renewable fuels. Like a child who breaks all of his pencils and then tells his parents he can't do his homework, the oil industry should not be permitted to claim it is not possible to expand renewable fuels consumption when it is taking calculated steps to stifle the broad introduction of E85, E15 and other fuels."
How big oil companies are blocking sale of renewable fuels
The Consumer Choice Report Card is part of a new report from RFA titled "Protecting the Monopoly: How Big Oil Covertly Blocks the Sale of Renewable Fuels." The report exposes how the "Big Five" oil companies, along with a number of leading refiners, are engaging in strong arm tactics and covert practices to prevent and discourage the sale of renewable fuels, especially at stations carrying their brand name.
To view the Consumer Choice Report Card, and to read the full RFA report, "Protecting the Monopoly: How Big Oil Covertly Blocks the Sale of Renewable Fuels," go to www.ethanolrfa.org.