Branstad blasts EPA for foot-dragging on RFS decision

Source: By O. Kay Henderson, Iowa Radio • Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Governor Terry Branstad says federal officials have failed to meet a promised deadline for a decision on the so-called Renewable Fuels Standard. The standard requires a set amount of corn-based ethanol fuel to be produced each year.

“Why hasn’t the EPA decided on this issue of the Renewable Fuels Standard?” Branstad said this morning during his weekly news conference as he pounded on the lectern. “We were promised that decision would be made by the end of June. Here we are, the middle of July. It’s still not been made.”

Branstad has met three times with the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator to make the case for retaining last year’s production levels. The EPA has been considering a lower production requirement for 2014.

“You know what’s happened to the price of corn since they started this foolishness?” Branstad asked. “Corn has gone from $5.50 a bushel to below $4 per bushel. I’m talking about below the cost of production.”

A 2005 federal law requires the Environmental Protection Agency to set a yearly production goal for renewable fuels. The Renewable Fuels Standard has been increased every year since, but in late 2013 the Obama Administration proposed a reduction amount of renewable fuels production for this year.