CBS 2 - Search Results
Response To Ethanol Fuel Proposal
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements. The proposed rule released by the EPA lowers the required consumption of conventional renewable fuel to 13.01 billion gallons, despite the law mandating consumption of 14.4 billion gallons, and below the 2013 level of 13.8 billion gallons.
It also provides that biodiesel remains at 1.28 billion gallons. The proposed rules are now open for public comments at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm
Many in Iowa are criticizing the proposal, including Iowa's Congressmen.
Rep. Bruce Braley issued the following statement:
The administration should be working every day to create jobs and strengthen the economy. Yet the EPAs proposed rule does just the opposite.
Renewable fuels are a vital component of domestic energy production and they reduce our dependence on foreign oil. In Iowa, investment and innovation in renewable energy continues to grow, and these investments have helped create over 60,000 jobs and contribute 4 percent of Iowas GDP every year.
Under the proposed reduction in the Renewable Fuels Standard, growth in Iowas renewable energy industry stands to suffer, putting job growth at risk and threatening damage to Iowas economy.
Rep. Dave Loebsack released the following statement:
It is clear that this Administration has done a complete 180 on their support for biofuels. Todays announcement is a devastating decision for Iowas farmers, rural communities and economy. It will also only increase our dependence on foreign oil at the expense of homegrown fuel. It is a slap in the face to our homegrown industry and Iowas economy that once again Big Oil has dictated our energy policy while stomping on rural America and hampering efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. I believe in making things in America and there is no reason our fuels shouldnt be made here as well.
The numbers for renewable fuel and biodiesel released by the EPA are completely unacceptable and I will fight to ensure that Iowa farmers are able to continue move our nation on a sustainable path forward.
Sen. Chuck Grassley made the following comment:
The federal government made a commitment to homegrown, renewable energy when Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard. The proposed rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency undermine that commitment. These misguided rules could cost jobs and create dirtier air, while protecting the stranglehold Big Oil has on the countrys fuel supply. Its disappointing that a President who claimed to be a supporter of renewable energy has allowed his administration to take us a step back in lessening our reliance on foreign sources of oil. Its time for supporters of clean, homegrown, green energy and forward-thinking energy policy to rally and let the Obama administration know that its proposal is short-sighted and irresponsible.
Rep. Steve King released the following statement:
We should promote competition within the United States fuel industry, said King. The RFS is the only tool that provides market access so that ethanol and other renewable fuels can be sold in competition with petroleum. Todays EPA announcement indicates a shift in the Obama Administration away from renewable fuels and in favor of foreign and domestic petroleum. Ethanol is the only fuel produced in large enough volume to compete with what has been a 100% petroleum mandate. It is disappointing the EPA has decided to lower RFS numbers and make the United States more dependent on foreign sources of energy when we have the means to produce cleaner, greener fuels right here in America.
Through the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Congress promised the federal government would provide market access up to the RFS levels provided the renewable fuels industry produces the necessary fuel. At that time, the oil industry claimed the ethanol industry would not be able to produce the fuel necessary to meet RFS goals. They were wrong. This year the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is projecting American farmers will harvest the largest corn crop in history. We have sufficient supplies to more than meet all needs for corn, including supply for the ethanol market. For most of 2013, ethanol has been the cheapest fuel on the market, BTU to BTU, significantly driving down the price of gasoline. Today's EPA decision sends a strong negative message to the renewable fuels industry that has, so far, responded reliably to government and market signals."
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds statement:
Why the Obama administration would side with the big oil companies over Iowas homegrown renewable fuels is baffling, said Branstad. The EPA has turned its back on rural America, and our economy and family farms will suffer as a result. Corn prices have already dropped to the cost of production, and this will likely further squeeze corn producers and negatively impact income growth in rural America. We have more than 50 ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa, and these EPA reductions would negatively impact thousands of Iowa jobs. This debate isnt over. I will lock arms with our agricultural groups, our family farmers, leaders from both parties, and Iowans in fighting for Iowas homegrown, reliable, and safe renewable fuels. I encourage Iowans to officially comment to the EPA."
The Renewable Fuels Standard led to more consumer choice at the pump, widespread use of biofuels, less reliance on foreign oil, increased family incomes in rural America, and a commitment to reducing harmful emissions, said Reynolds. Todays announcement undercuts the progress that has been made. This is the latest example of just how out of touch Washington, D.C. has become that big oil is rewarded for bad behavior.
Iowa Corn Growers Association:
This is a critical time for farmers to engage on this issue, said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Lynnville and the current President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Unfortunately, so far, Washington D.C. is failing our farmers with pressure from Big Oil by lowering the conventional ethanol requirements to 13.01 billion gallons.
The current RFS statue requires 14.4 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended in 2014; however, the proposed rule is 1.4 billion gallons less than that requirement as the EPA claims corn ethanol has met the E10 blend wall.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association is extremely concerned about the impacts to the corn industry because of this cap, says Zylstra.
This will negatively impact the agricultural economy by:
Economically impacting rural communities at a time when the 2013 corn crop is estimated at 14 billion bushels.
Creating higher prices for consumers at the pump as more gasoline will be used, driving up petroleum demand and prices.
Increasing greenhouse gas emissions with more gasoline usage.
Decreasing investment in advanced and 2nd generation biofuels such as cellulosic.
Decreasing investment in biofuels infrastructure like E15, E85 and flex fuel pumps.
This is a proposed rule at this time and farmers still have time to influence the outcome, said Zylstra.
We are asking the Administration, on behalf of Iowas corn farmers, to change the proposed rule that decreases ethanol use. We want to maintain the current levels in the RFS that we have worked so hard to achieve.