Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad

Gov. Branstad signs Amicus Brief opposing burdensome fuel standard that would hurt Iowa’s corn market, overall economy

March 12, 2012

Takes a stand for Iowa farmers against unconstitutional California law


Gov. Branstad today joined an Amicus Brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing California’s fuel standards law that discriminates against Iowa’s corn farmers.

Gov. Branstad, along with other Midwestern states, argues that allowing the California Air Resources Board’s unconstitutional fuel standards to take effect would hurt our corn farmers and ethanol markets.

The brief, which was filed by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and co-signed by the attorney generals of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota, and Gov. Branstad, argues that the court should rule against the request for a stay based on the following three arguments:

  • California is unlikely to prevail on the merits because California’s fuel standards discriminate against ethanol produced in Midwestern states in favor of ethanol produced in California.
  • The fuel standards violated the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause because it is an improper exercise of extra-territorial regulation.
  • A stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction and judgments will substantially injure the economies of the Amici States and it’s the public interest.


According to the Nebraska Power District Economic Development Department, ethanol production boosts the price of corn by $0.05-0.10 per bushel, which ultimately supports family farmers’ incomes.

Additionally, a May 2011 study by Iowa State University found that the past decade of growth in ethanol production reduced gas prices in the Midwest region by $0.39 per gallon.

The full Amicus brief can be read here.