Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad made an impassioned plea in favor of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and showed no love for what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing for reducing the amount of ethanol and biodiesel to be put into gasoline as originally mandated in the 2007 law.
“After decades of efforts to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and increase farm income with policies like the RFS, the EPA is now caving in to Big Oil!” Branstad thundered, pointing out that since Big Oil doesn’t control renewable fuels, it doesn’t want to see the green fuels grow. And the governor dismissed claims that vehicles can’t handle higher blends, pounding on the table as he said, “If you don’t believe it can be done, go to Brazil! Go to Brazil where they are making ethanol out of sugarcane and soon going to be doing it out of corn, and they have virtually all flexible-fuel vehicles in their fleets!”
Branstad continued his passionate speech, recalling the farm crisis of the 1980s when he was governor the first time around and how the proposed cuts in the RFS could cause another crisis, especially when you consider that there’s still no farm bill. And he said the problems could spread beyond Iowa’s borders.
“This EPA proposal will cost 45 thousand jobs in this nation. We don’t need to drive the number of people employed down,” simply to cater to the petroleum industry. Branstad added Iowans, who supported Obama during each of his campaigns, including his historic election in 2008, because he promised to support renewable fuels, now feel betrayed.
Moving forward, he wants the EPA to come to his state to hear from the people most directly affected by the proposed change, “where people know about the impact this has and know the truth and the facts!”
Listen to the entirety of Gov. Branstad’s testimony here: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad comments to EPA hearing