Iowa Biodiesel Board Urges President to Stop EPA from Gutting RFS
October 2, 2017
(ANKENY, Iowa) – The Iowa Biodiesel Board is urging President Trump to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from slashing biodiesel volumes under a federal program meant to stimulate renewable fuel growth. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken actions to drastically cut biodiesel under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program, reducing the already set 2018 volumes and severely cutting the proposed 2019 volumes, already set lower than industry capacity. Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, issued the following statement:
“Gutting biodiesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard would bring an Iowa manufacturing success story to its knees, deal a blow to an already struggling farm economy, and shake the state economy. This is a major issue for the Midwest and U.S. agriculture, and we implore President Trump to stop his EPA Administrator from forsaking this driver of American jobs, all in an apparent move to appease the oil industry.
“The market is already reacting to this impending blow. Commodity prices crashed on the news of EPA’s indicated plans to cut biodiesel. We were already in the midst of a downturn in the ag economy, with many farmers in the red for the fourth year in a row. We have excess feedstock capacity due to a surplus of corn and soybeans on the market, which has lowered commodity prices. Gutting the RFS would exacerbate farmer struggles and could push us deeper into an agriculture recession. It could also cost thousands of Iowans their jobs as plants are forced to make cutbacks and even shutter their doors. We do not believe this is what President Trump wants for rural communities.
“Here in Iowa, many of us feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football as Lucy pulls it away. We have stood on the edge of expansion. Many of our plants have already spent millions of dollars on expansion, based on the promise of a growing RFS, and others have had further growth planned. This would mean more jobs, more dollars circulating through Iowa’s communities, and more American manufacturing. We have the capacity to achieve this, but it is at a standstill.
“I would like to thank Iowa’s entire congressional delegation, in particular Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, as well as Governor Kim Reynolds, for jumping to biodiesel’s defense with the Administration. We appreciate their commitment, and ask President Trump to keep his stated commitments to biofuels and the RFS.”
Iowa is the nation’s top biodiesel producer. In 2016, Iowa’s biodiesel plants produced 305 million gallons of biodiesel. According to ABF Economics, the industry supports about 3,800 jobs and $300 million of household income in Iowa, including farm income.
Recent public opinion research shows more than 70 percent of Iowa voters support expanding the RFS. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a nonpartisan state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.