"Why the Obama administration would side with the big oil companies over Iowa's homegrown renewable fuels is baffling," says 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 isn't over. I will lock arms with our agricultural groups, our family farmers, leaders from both parties, and Iowans in fighting for Iowa's homegrown, reliable and safe renewable fuels. I encourage Iowans to officially comment to the EPA."
Administration's proposal turns its back on competition and fuel choice, says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
"That November 15 RFS announcement represents the biggest policy reversal of the entire Obama Administration," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "The EPA proposal turns the RFS on its head, runs counter to the law and is a complete capitulation to Big Oil. The Administration needs to conduct a thorough soul-searching and decide whether they are serious about cleaner fuels, consumer choice and cutting petroleum dependence, or whether they truly want to adopt the Big Oil status quo. There is still time to restore Congressional intent and common sense before the rule is finalized."
In the proposed rule, the Obama administration adopts the position that a lack of retail distribution equipment this year equates to a renewable fuel "supply shortage" next year, says Shaw. This "infrastructure" waiver was specifically rejected by Congress during the adoption of the RFS and, if allowed to stand, would effectively repeal the RFS as a factor in U.S. energy policy, he adds. "The circular logic of this proposal creates a downward death spiral for the RFS as the RFS could not be increased unless Big Oil had already begun to offer higher ethanol blends. With no pressure to move forward, Big Oil would be expected to continue hiding behind its Century of Subsidies and Federal Petroleum Mandate to prevent consumer choice for higher blends."