What they’re saying: EPA feels pressure from Iowa, backs off proposed RFS cuts
Gov. Kim Reynolds voiced her concern this week about proposed cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She, along with Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and local renewable fuels leaders, held a press conference in Pella Wednesday following two phone calls with Washington, D.C.—one with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the other with President Donald Trump.
Late Thursday, Administrator Pruitt sent a letter to Iowa’s congressional leaders saying the EPA would not make the proposed cuts. Many are calling the news a big win for Gov. Reynolds’ administration.
Agri-Pulse: Pruitt offers assurances on RFS
As a comment period for a controversial renewable fuels proposal came to a close, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter to Capitol Hill seeking to calm the nerves of frustrated lawmakers.
The letter, addressed to seven farm state Senate Republicans, contains pledges to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard according to the language passed by Congress. The assurance being provided in black and white follows numerous conversations between the Trump administration and concerned lawmakers who thought Pruitt was going back on his word.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in Wednesday's press briefing that Trump had a call with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and that they plan to continue looking at the renewable fuels standard program, which requires refineries to blend ethanol and other biofuels into the nation's gasoline supply.
Reynolds is one of a phalanx of Midwest politicians who have lobbied the administration by highlighting the president’s promises to support ethanol and signaling that any move to weaken annual quotas would be seen as a betrayal.
"They are feeling the pressure, and that’s why we need to keep it up, we can’t let down," Reynolds said during a press conference with biofuel backers in Pella, Iowa.
Cedar Rapids Gazette: Report: Uproar from Iowa Republicans quells renewable fuel rollback by EPA
Amid increasing appeals and pressure from Iowa’s top Republicans, President Donald Trump has told his administration’s Environmental Protection Agency to back off potential cuts to renewable fuel volumes, the Bloomberg news service reported Wednesday.
Bloomberg, citing sources it didn’t identify, said the EPA was directed to abandon the possibility it had raised earlier of lowering biodiesel requirements and counting ethanol exports toward meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Des Moines Register: EPA's Pruitt offers Iowa 'key commitments' on renewable fuels
Concerned, Gov. Kim Reynolds talked with President Donald Trump on Wednesday about preserving the Renewable Fuel Standard.
"He made it clear that he stood with the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Reynolds said at a news conference in Pella.
Iowa Public Radio: Reynolds on the EPA: “They Feel the Pressure”
“We’re going to continue to hold him accountable,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds stressed that Pruitt reached out to her.
“They feel the pressure,” she said.
Ernst’s office released a statement Thursday evening, saying in part, “I’m pleased to see these commitments from EPA Administrator Pruitt to uphold the RFS as intended by Congress. … These assurances are a clear win for Iowans.”
KMA Radio: Iowans to Trump: don't mess with RFS
Flanked by ethanol and biodiesel supporters, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds called on the Trump Administration to oppose any attempt by the EPA to roll back the current standards in 2018 and 2019. The EPA recently announced it was considering cuts to the RFS for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels. Reports also indicate the agency is considering allowing exported gallons of ethanol to count toward the 15 billion-gallon RFS level for ethanol. While saying she appreciates the EPA's accessibility, Reynolds says she has "significant concerns" with the direction the agency is taking.
Governor Kim Reynolds came to Two Rivers Cooperative in Pella Wednesday to share her opposition to proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Reynolds testified at a recent EPA hearing and spoke with President Donald Trump this week about the adverse effects that reducing many of the production volumes set in the RFS would have to Iowa’s economy.
Washington Post: Iowa governor pushes Trump to preserve ethanol quotas
Iowa’s Republican governor on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump and his administration to preserve a federal program mandating that biofuels such as corn-based ethanol be blended into gasoline and diesel following a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to lower production targets for renewable fuels.
Gov. Kim Reynolds highlighted the issue amid a proposal by the EPA to lower production targets for biofuels in the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard program, known as RFS. She elevated her concerns by speaking at a press conference alongside RFS supporters such as farmers.
Mr. Pruitt’s letter on Thursday night suggests that strategy, along with this week’s daily dose of letters, press conferences, and public relations campaigns by ethanol advocates, has been effective.