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Ernst Joins Iowa Delegation Urging EPA to Set Strong Renewable Fuels Levels, Get RFS Back on Track

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined the entire Iowa congressional delegation, led by Iowa Congressman David Young, in calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose 2017 ethanol and 2018 biodiesel Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) consistent with enacted law.

The letter, signed by Iowa Congressmen David Young, Rod Blum, Steve King, and Dave Loebsack, and Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, was sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. It urged the EPA to use this year as an opportunity to commit to getting the RFS back on track, and pointed to Iowa's role as the premier renewable fuels producer in the nation. The letter also highlighted the critical need for the RFS, which works to provide consumers with fuel choices, increase energy independence, boost rural economies, and protect the environment.

“Our agricultural base in Iowa, serving as feedstock for ethanol and biodiesel production, has near record supplies of excess corn,” the members of Congress wrote. “In addition, low oil prices spurred surging fuel demand and large retailers of gasoline are embracing higher ethanol blends. Furthermore, the United States is importing record amounts of foreign biodiesel from countries like Argentina and Canada, despite growing domestic capacity.”

“Because of these reasons, the EPA should announce a 2017 level for conventional biofuels at 15 billion gallons and set an aggressive biomass-based diesel level for 2018, the letter continued. “We believe the statutory levels are more than achievable in the coming year.”

The full letter is available here.