Iowans Deserve a Fair Hearing on Renewable Fuels

Joanna Schroeder

Americans United for Change is echoing Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin along with the rest of the Iowa congressional delegation for the EPA to hold a hearing in Iowa on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Iowa is the country’s leader in production of renewable fuels with 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa legislators are making the call in an effort to put faces on what they call the devastating consequences of the 2014 proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule that more oil and less biofuel be used in gasoline next year. Before making a final decision, the EPA would benefit from hearing not only phony reports from big oil lobbyists at hearings in Washington, says Americans United for Change, but the truth straight from Americans who benefit from the RFS – from family farmers, ethanol industry workers, secondary industries, surrounding economies and American consumers paying less at the pump.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.27.17 AMAmericans United for Changes cites among the long list of CONS to scaling back the RFS is that it will threaten invaluable innovations towards the next-generation in cleaner burning fuels, including cellulosic ethanol plants in Iowa scheduled to start operation next year.  Rather than using kernels of corn, these advanced plants will make the fuel from the “biomass” of various low-value plant material including corn stalks and wood chips.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change said, “It’s been a good year for Big Oil – a very, very good year.  When the EPA released its draft RFS rule, stock values shot through the roof for four of the “Big Five” oil companies – amounting to a $23 billion windfall profit in just one day. And now this week came the reports that Exxon shares have hit an all-time high. Of course, reporting obscene profits is nothing new for the oil industry, even after the RFS went into effect. The Big Five’s CEOs have managed to do very well for themselves despite the competition from the cleaner, cheaper, higher performing renewable fuels that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in America.

If allowed to stand, the EPA draft rule would reverse huge economic and environmental gains made under the highly successful RSS, which renewable fuel supporters saying has driven down prices at the pump while driving local economies in the American heartland.

“If you think the American consumer will benefit from petroleum-based fuels being the only choice at the pump, the proposed EPA rule is for you,” continued Woodhouse. “But if you think big oil does not need any more government assistance after taking billions every year in taxpayer subsidies while raking in record profits on Wall Street, then join us in commenting against the EPA’s proposed rule at”

“If you don’t think we need to send any more our troops, money, and jobs overseas to help the oil industry’s bottom line, then comment against the EPA’s proposed draft rule.  If you’re for invaluable innovations towards more environmentally friendly fuels and not escalating the use of dirty foreign oil, then comment against the EPA’s proposed rule today,” added Woodhouse. ” We know the EPA can find the time to come to Iowa and get the facts they need to make a better decisions not just for rural Americans, but for all American consumers.”

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, RFS