As Published In: The Des Moines Register
Jun 07 2019
Rural America is the backbone of our great nation, and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been a boon for so many of Iowa’s corn growers and ethanol producers. It’s an invaluable economic engine creating jobs, raising incomes, increasing tax revenues, and paving the way for new investment.
Over the last decade, thanks in part to the RFS, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in ethanol and biodiesel production and today, the biofuels industry is a leader in economic growth in states like Iowa. In 2018 alone, the ethanol industry supported over 366,000 jobs and added nearly $46 billion to the nation’s GDP. This made-in-America energy supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country, and has an economic ripple effect throughout farm country, rural communities and the entire nation.
I’ve consistently and directly conveyed to President Trump just how important the RFS is and the impact that Iowa-grown ethanol has on the nation’s economy and security.
Last October, the president stood in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and announced his administration would lift one of Washington’s outdated and nonsensical regulations and actually allow the year-round sale of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol (E15) and do so by the 2019 summer driving season.
Today, I’m so proud to say that the president has followed through on that promise, and rural America — especially Iowa’s farmers and ethanol producers — is immensely grateful.
Expanded access to higher blends of ethanol, like E15, provides consumers with more choice at the pump, and at a lower cost! Not only will there be more affordable options, but blends like E15 are a cleaner fuel choice, resulting in lower emissions. The nationwide sale also has the potential to add seven billion gallons of ethanol to the fuel mix, providing a valuable market for two billion bushels of corn. We’ll see an increased demand for corn, thus creating a big economic booster for our state’s growers.
EPA has also taken a step toward transparency, something we haven’t seen from that agency in some time. This rule reforms the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market by requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings held by an individual actor exceed specified limits. The agency is also requiring the reporting of additional price and affiliate data to EPA.
Transparency is critical here, and this is a step in the right direction. As always, I’ll continue to push EPA to be more forthcoming. Iowa farmers, growers, and producers, and all those across the country, deserve it.
Folks in Iowa and across the Midwest know this to be true: A strong and robust RFS encourages consumer choice, increases investment and is perhaps the best tool in the toolbox to weather this trade climate.
While the tariff war with China has not been wrapped up, the administration’s decision to allow E15 year-round will help provide a jolt to our farm economy. And maybe most importantly, it halts a very anti-competitive and senseless federal government regulation.
Year-round E15 is a sure sign of President Trump and his administration keeping their promise. Thank you, Mr. President, for coming through for Iowa agriculture. With your help, we’re cutting Washington’s bureaucratic red tape and unleashing the pent up demand for Iowa-grown biofuel. I bet if we listen closely, we might even hear Washington squeal over this one.