The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) last week wrote to Texas Governor Rick Perry, asking him to oppose Congressional efforts to ban E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) from competing in the fuels marketplace. Perry has been traveling to Iowa lately, spending time in Iowa to campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
IRFA president Walt Wendland wrote: "IRFA members want to welcome your campaign for president to Iowa. We look forward to a thoughtful dialog on our Nation's energy future. One pressing issue is an attack on consumer freedom and enhancing America's energy security. Recently, members of Congress from Texas and Oklahoma have introduced amendments to the FY2012 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that would essentially ban E15, a legal competitor to petroleum-based gasoline. IRFA calls upon you to publicly oppose amendment #6 by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) and amendments #9 and #10 by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-OK)."
How other candidates for president have answered the question
When asked whether they think E15 should be banned, other leading presidential candidates have expressed their opposition to limiting consumer fuel choices.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney: "No, I don't."
Representative Michele Bachmann: "I want all energy. I wouldn't ban anything."
Representative Ron Paul: "I don't want to ban anything, but I don't want any mandates either. I want the market to determine the best energy."
Businessman Herman Cain: "Do I support making us more dependent on foreign oil? Absolutely not."
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich: "You as a consumer should get to choose."
Former Senator Rick Santorum: "I would oppose an E15 ban. We need as much energy in this country as we can. Period."
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty: "I have been a supporter of renewable fuels, ethanol, including E15."
After the most extensive testing in the history of federal fuel approvals, the EPA approved the use of E15 for model year 2001 and newer passenger vehicles. The EPA is now in the process of finalizing regulations that will implement its E15 approval.
IRFA: "We ask you to stand for consumer fuel choice, and energy security"
Wendland adds: "The Sullivan and Burgess amendments are appropriations gimmicks designed to subvert the scientific and legal process that led to the approval of E15 as a consumer choice…For Congress to step in now to ban a legal fuel choice through an appropriations gimmick is a slap in the face to all those who value a free market…In short, we ask you to stand for consumer fuel choice and enhanced energy security for America by opposing these anti-free market amendments. We anxiously await your reply."
Notes: Former President George W. Bush won the 2000 Iowa Caucuses and carried Iowa in the 2004 general election. President Barack Obama won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses and carried Iowa in the 2008 general election.
Walt Wendland is the CEO of Golden Grain Energy near Mason City, Iowa and Homeland Energy Solutions near Lawler, Iowa. He is currently serving his second term as President of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org