Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad


Gov. Branstad brings bipartisan group of six governors together in support of RFS

December 20, 2013

Letter sent to President Obama, Administrator McCarthy and Sec. Vilsack calling for reconsideration on the EPA’s proposed RFS rule

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has brought together a bipartisan group of six governors to sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their support for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that fosters diversification of America’s energy portfolio, gives consumers choices at the pump, supports economic development in rural communities and reduces harmful emissions across the nation. The EPA recently proposed a rule that would significantly weaken the current RFS, and Gov. Branstad and this group of governors expressed their opposition to the EPA proposal.

The following governors signed on in support of a strong RFS: Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa), Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-N.D.), Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Gov. Dennis Dugaard (R-S.D.), and Gov. Dave Heineman (R-Neb.).

In the letter, the governors write, “More than 400,000 Americans depend on renewable fuels for good-paying jobs that support rewarding careers in our states. According to the Renewable Fuels Association and LMC International, 44,500 of these jobs could be lost due to the EPA proposed rule. This proposed rule would greatly hinder our states’ efforts to foster policies that create jobs, grow family incomes, and revitalize our economies.

“If the EPA’s currently proposed rule becomes final, the negative impact would be disproportionately felt by rural America. According to an Iowa State University estimate, corn prices alone could drop nineteen cents per bushel based on the proposed rule, which could bring corn prices below the cost of production for many farmers. The proposed EPA rule could also cause a ripple effect on agri-business, our communities, and the entire economy.”

The bipartisan letter is the latest effort by Branstad to fight for American jobs, rural communities and a strong agriculture industry by working to protect the RFS. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, and other Iowa elected leaders recently requested a hearing in Iowa on this EPA proposal. On December 4, 2013, Gov. Branstad testified before the EPA in support of the RFS in Arlington, VA. The testimony followed a “Defend the RFS” rally in Nevada, Iowa, on November 22, 2013.

The full letter can be read below:

December 20, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

As governors who support the public policy and economic benefits that flow from biofuels, we write today to express our strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule that would significantly reduce ethanol and biodiesel choices for consumers as enabled in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA proposal would have a negative impact on family incomes, the diversification of our energy portfolio, economic development in rural communities, and emissions reduction across our nation.

The renewable fuels that are proudly used by consumers across the country, are produced with American-grown corn, soybeans, wood chips and other important biomass resources that are processed through biofuels facilities that employ thousands, all while injecting millions into agribusiness and local economies. More than 400,000 Americans depend on renewable fuels for good-paying jobs that support rewarding careers in our states. According to the Renewable Fuels Association and LMC International, 44,500 of these jobs could be lost due to the EPA proposed rule. This proposed rule would greatly hinder our states’ efforts to foster policies that create jobs, grow family incomes, and revitalize our economies.

If the EPA’s currently proposed rule becomes final, the negative impact would be disproportionately felt by rural America. According to an Iowa State University estimate, corn prices alone could drop nineteen cents per bushel based on the proposed rule, which could bring corn prices below the cost of production for many farmers. The proposed EPA rule could also cause a ripple effect on agri-business, our communities, and the entire economy.

We urge your Administration to use its regulatory authority in a manner that both supports a growing renewable fuels industry and meets the statutory requirements of the law. Specifically, we hope that you will encourage the EPA to increase the biodiesel volume to reflect current production levels, modify the cellulosic target to match production expectations, and reinstate the statutory conventional renewable fuel target since there is clearly no domestic supply shortage. The gradually increasing RFS levels have been an important part of diversifying our nation’s transportation fuels and reducing fuel costs at the pump.

We appreciate your past support for renewable fuels and the commitments you have pledged. We hope you will protect the RFS, renew your commitment, and stand strong along with us, consumers, and agricultural producers in supporting American-made renewable fuels.

Sincerely,

Governor Terry E. Branstad                                        Governor Sam Brownback

Iowa                                                                            Kansas

Governor Mark Dayton                                               Governor Dave Heineman

Minnesota                                                                   Nebraska

Governor Jack Dalrymple                                           Governor Dennis Daugaard

North Dakota                                                              South Dakota

cc:        Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Tom Vilsack, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture


###