The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on August 23 issued a press release applauding Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican candidate for U.S. president, for highlighting his support for the federal Renewable Fuels Standard as a part of his presidential energy plan released last week. Given the existing near monopoly petroleum enjoys for transportation fuels, the RFS injects new consumer choices and competition into the marketplace. Romney first spoke publicly about his support for the RFS at a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa during the Iowa Caucuses earlier this year.
"Gov. Romney understands that true fueling freedom requires the ability of consumers to choose -- and the RFS is the bedrock policy to break the petroleum monopoly," stated IRFA vice president Rick Schwarck. He is CEO of Absolute Energy, an ethanol plant in St. Ansgar in northern Iowa.
Breaking down barriers, allowing new fuels to enter marketplace is key to consumer choice
Schwarck continues, "Today, the petroleum industry enjoys federal tax subsidies, federal fuel regulations that literally mandate consumers purchase petroleum products for their vehicles, and a fuel distribution monopoly that chokes out competition from newer, cheaper, domestic fuels. We need a level playing field with true consumer choice that would boost renewable fuels, create American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
However, another strong supporter of ethanol was disappointed in Romney's energy plan. Bruce Rohwer is a corn farmer from Paullina in northwest Iowa, and an officer in the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He issued the following statement on August 23, in response to Romney's energy plan that was released earlier in that day.
Northwest Iowa farmer and ethanol booster is skeptical of Romney energy plan
Rowher says, "As a farmer who has seen the promise of alternative fuels up close, I am deeply disappointed by Mitt Romney's Energy Plan that just fuels our nation's continuing addiction to oil instead of investing in the alternative fuels of the future. In fact, the words "ethanol" and "biodiesel" appear absolutely nowhere in his document. In Iowa today 83,000 jobs are tied to the biofuels industry. President Obama's sincere support for ethanol and biodiesel has given our nation a diversified energy portfolio."