Oil companies have been working hard to roll back targets for homegrown fuels at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Iowa, we’ve been lucky to have vocal champions like Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, as well as Congressmen Dave Loebsack and Steve King and Gov. Kim Reynolds, who are willing to fight for Iowa farmers and rural jobs in biofuel production.
Their hard work is a major reason why the White House recently made this issue a priority, reminding regulators of their responsibility to promote the president’s vision for growth under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Left unchallenged, oil industry advocates were closing in on the EPA, pushing the agency to hold biofuel production below today’s levels in 2018, with deep cuts to cellulosic ethanol. These cuts would be devastating to the farm economy, and they could threaten rural jobs across the Midwest, where the next generation of cellulosic ethanol is driving investments at cutting-edge facilities like Quad County Corn Processors.
Equally important, the RFS provides choices at the pump, allowing consumers to save on every gallon. In fact, a recent Iowa State University study found the average U.S. household saved about $142 annually under the RFS, a national savings of $17.8 billion at no cost to taxpayers.
We won’t know the final outcome of the RFS battle until EPA targets are announced later this month, but it’s reassuring that Iowa’s leaders are working to make the RFS a priority, at home and in Washington.
Delayne D. Johnson
Chief executive officer
Quad County Corn Processors