(DES MOINES) – Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to raise the 2019 biodiesel volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Wednesday morning at their administration’s weekly press conference.
Gov. Reynolds was in Washington, D.C., Tuesday along with some of the nation’s leading biofuels advocates to testify before the EPA on the importance of a robust RFS. The governor urged the EPA to set the biodiesel level at 2.75 billion gallons.
“In 2016, the United States consumed 2.8 billion gallons of biodiesel,” Gov. Reynolds said. “We can exceed that volume by 2019. Each time the EPA has raised the biodiesel volumes, the industry has risen to the challenge. That’s what the RFS does. It’s a market forcing policy. It’s bold, and the EPA’s volume requirements should reflect that.”
“Iowans are leading the way in the renewable energy space, and we have no plans of slowing down,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “I echo Gov. Reynolds’ plea to the EPA for a strong RFS, particularly higher levels in the advanced biofuels category.”
Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, was also in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to testify.
“It sends a powerful signal to the EPA and White House when a governor takes the time to travel to D.C. to highlight an issue,” Shaw said. “IRFA is very grateful Gov. Reynolds told the EPA to hold the line on 15 billion gallons for corn ethanol in the RFS, while calling for increased levels of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol to match industry capabilities.”
Iowa currently has 11 biodiesel refineries in production. Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, testified alongside Shaw about the impact on rural areas of the state.
“Biodiesel production has revitalized many rural areas in Iowa, and reversing course would harm those communities,” Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said. “We heard from our members yesterday that they want to expand their plants and could do so within six months. But those plans are on hold until they have clear signals of growth from the administration.”
The renewable fuels industry in Iowa supports more than 43,000 jobs and generates $2.3 billion of income for Iowans.