Renewable fuels groups urge Biden to renew support for RFS

Source: Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has written to Vice President Joe Biden, urging him to support a federal mandate calling for ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply, reminding him that he campaigned “as a strong champion” in 2007 and 2008.

The renewable fuel association and other advocates said they’re responding to aReuters article that claim the vice president “played an instrumental role in the Obama Administration’s proposal to gut America’s Renewable Fuel Standard.”

“If accurate, this report would confirm our worst suspicions — that Vice President Biden and the Administration have done an about-face on their support for cleaner fuels, consumer choice and cutting oil dependence,” said Monte Shaw, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association director.

“Iowans and all Americans deserve to know where the Vice President stands on the RFS,” said Shaw, a Republican candidate for Iowa’s third U.S. Congressional district.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed lowering the renewable fuels mandate, with a final ruling expected in June.

The groups urged Biden and other national leaders to “not be fooled by the crocodile tears coming from the oil industry, who claim to be concerned about rising gasoline prices. Their argument is preposterous on its face.”

The letter, signed by two dozen Iowa agriculture and renewable fuels leaders, said support for renewable fuels “has already become a full-blown campaign issue in Iowa in 2014, and it will be a major issue for every candidate who visits Iowa in 2016.”

“This is a crucial juncture for America’s renewable fuel industry, and we cannot allow the oil industry to dominate the debate or bully our political leaders into backtracking to greater foreign oil dependence,” the letter said.

Iowa, with its first in the nation presidential caucus, is also a leader in ethanol and biodiesel production.