Survey shows Iowa political candidates support biofuels

Survey shows Iowa political candidates support biofuels

Iowa candidates for U.S. House and Senate who answered IRFA survey offer robust support for renewable fuels.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) on May 25 released the results of its 2016 U.S. House and Senate Candidate Renewable Fuels Survey, showing robust support for renewable fuels throughout Iowa's political spectrum. The full results and responses from Iowa's candidates running for U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives can be found here: iowarfa.org/2016-candidate-surveys/. If any additional responses are received, they will be added to the IRFA website.

WOULD TRUMP DUMP RFS?: Speaking of politics and biofuels, would Donald Trump, if elected U.S. president, do away with the Renewable Fuel Standard? A congressman who is an energy adviser to Trump is telling Trump to phase out the RFS if elected.

"Despite the obvious benefits to Iowa, we never take support from our elected officials for granted," says IRFA president Tom Brooks, who is general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel, a biodiesel production plant in northeast Iowa.  "We appreciate these candidates sharing their positions with the public and committing to an aggressive American renewable fuels energy policy. Renewable fuels play a vital role in supporting Iowa jobs, improving air quality and boosting the state's economy, so Iowans deserve to know where all candidates stand on these important issues."

Renewable fuel industry is very important to Iowa’s economy

According to a recent IRFA study, Iowa's renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $4.6 billion of Iowa GDP or gross domestic product. It generates $2.3 billion in income for Iowa households and supports more than 43,000 jobs throughout all sectors of the Iowa economy.

Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity. 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 that industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website www.IowaRFA.org.

Americans for Energy Security urge Trump adviser to support RFS

Americans for Energy Security and Innovation co-chairmen and former U.S. Sens. Jim Talent and Rick Santorum sent the following letter to Congressman Kevin Cramer, who is an energy adviser to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Representative Cramer recently told news reporters he is advising Trump to phase out the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), if Trump is elected president in November.

The Honorable Kevin Cramer

Member, U.S. House of Representatives

1032 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Cramer:

We write to express our concern regarding your recent statements on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a policy that enjoys strong bipartisan support from North Dakota Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, as well as presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. We urge you to join your fellow leaders in supporting a policy that’s vital to protecting our economy, environment and our nation’s energy security.

A recent Bloomberg News report about your advice to the Trump campaign notes that you consider the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard to be met, saying that “the market has been created” and “free markets are free markets.” As lawmakers who championed the RFS prior to your service in Congress, we assure you that this policy remains a vital bulwark for U.S. energy security against foreign manipulation. If Congress or the next president were to undermine the RFS, the consequences would be dire – not just for farmers and workers in states like North Dakota – but for consumers across the country.

The unfortunate truth is that the global energy market is not a free market. As you told Bloomberg News, America needs stronger – not weaker – tools to combat collusion by groups like the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). On April 17, oil ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and OPEC met to explore options for pushing up the price of oil. OPEC meets again on June 2. Even today’s relatively modest prices can be traced back to a decision by Gulf states to temporarily flood the market with oil and drive out U.S. competition, crippling the economies of communities across North Dakota and Texas. Opening this market to truly free competition will require a sustained commitment to the RFS, as Mr. Trump promised voters in January.

With the RFS to combat foreign manipulation, U.S. biofuels have become more than cost-competitive with conventional gasoline, they produce dramatically fewer emissions, and displace toxic gasoline additives linked to cancer and groundwater contamination. It’s important to note that American consumers reap these rewards at little or no cost. There are no subsidies or tax breaks for ethanol. The RFS guarantees a market but not a price, and the RFS has a long track record of reducing the cost of fuel.

Moreover, the domestic biofuel industry supports more than 852,000 American jobs.

To protect and accelerate America’s progress toward energy security, we urge you to support the RFS and use your position – in Congress and as an energy policy advisor to our party’s presumptive presidential nominee – to educate other leaders against confusing a short-term dip in oil prices with long-term energy security. We cannot afford to squander America’s most effective tool against hostile nations that seek to use energy as a weapon.

Sincerely,

Former Sen. Jim Talent, and former Sen. Rick Santorum

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