Reynolds urges Trump to uphold campaign promise, protect renewable fuel standard

Source: By Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, October 16, 2017

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday sent a letter to President Donald Trump expressing concern that the Environmental Protection Agency will undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard — a policy Trump repeatedly promised to protectwhile on the campaign trail in Iowa.

“We, and millions of our citizens, were drawn to your passionate support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to your explicit promises to our farmers that you would support investments in fuels like biodiesel and ethanol through the RFS,” the letter reads.

It is signed by Reynolds as well as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard. All four governors are Republicans.

The letter cites a number of concerns, including that the EPA will make further cuts beyond those announced last July to the blending volumes for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel.

“The stated purpose of the RFS is to grow demand for biofuels — to push the industry to innovate,” the letter says. “Far from pushing the industry, the EPA’s proposals take us backwards. Cutting the biomass-based diesel volume set a year ago is not only unnecessary, it’s highly disruptive, unprecedented and potentially catastrophic.”

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association, praised the governor’s letter and similarly urged the Trump Administration to bolster the RFS.

“Anything that would undermine the RFS is a serious issue for Iowa and U.S. agriculture at a time when the farm economy is already enduring a downturn,” he said in a statement. “We do not believe President Trump wants to decimate an industry that has become a shining American manufacturing success story, and send rural communities backwards after biofuels helped them rebound in previous decades.”