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Ernst Stresses Importance of Strong RFS for Rural Economies at Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing entitled “Examining Two GAO Reports Regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard,” U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) stressed the importance of maintaining a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to continue to grow the rural economy in Iowa, and bring consumer choice at gas pumps across the country.

As Senator Ernst noted, the RFS “really has spurred investment in domestic energy production, it’s helped grow our economy throughout the Midwest, especially in those rural areas, and it’s brought a lot of competition--needed competition—to the gas pump, and saves American consumers money and reduces reliance on foreign oil sources.”

Ernst pointed to a GAO report which illustrated that bolt-on cellulosic technology at existing plants is the most cost-effective means for generating advanced biofuels.

Specifically, the Iowa Senator highlighted a stop on her 99 county tour in Galva, Iowa, in which she explained the facility is “using corn fiber, which is a by-product of the ethanol process to create cellulosic ethanol. This is a great example of what this was originally intended to do; it was to support the expansion of conventional biofuels, as a springboard for those advanced biofuels.”

The Iowa Senator also cited her concerns over premature criticism of the RFS, “If we create further uncertainty about the future of the RFS and our commitment to biofuels, it will only serve to slow our research and investment down towards attaining those goals originally set by Congress.”

Senator Ernst’s remarks today follow her comments over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of their final RFS renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2017 at the Congressionally-approved level of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video of Senator Ernst’s full remarks.