Congressman Bruce Braley is trying again to pass legislation that would require “County of Origin Labels” on U.S. gas and diesel pumps. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo who is running for the U.S. Senate, first introduced a bill in 2010 to accomplish that goal, but it never advanced. He’s re-introduced the measure again this year.
“Unfortunately Americans currently have no say in whether the money they’re paying at the pump goes to support unfriendly regimes around the world or is headed to Iowans producing ethanol,” Braley says.
Consumers also want to buy soybean-based biodiesel that’s made “in their neighborhood” according to Braley.
“If I buy a tomato at Fareway or Hy-Vee, I can look at the sticker and see where the tomato comes from. These labels gives consumers the knowledge and power to make their own decisions about where their products are from and where their hard-earned money is going,” Braley says. “I believe consumers should have the same power at the pump.”
Braley’s bill would require gas stations to post a label on each gas pump indicating where the fuel came from — whether it’s the U.S.A. or somewhere in the Middle East.
“Right now there’s a 50 percent chance your next fill-up will be with gas produced outside the United States and we shouldn’t force America consumers to flip a coin when they’re at the pump,” Braley says. “America has a decision to make about its energy future.”
The “Renewable Fuels Standard” — a federal requirement dictating how much ethanol and biodiesel is produced each year — is the “best, long-term hope” for a stable supply of domestic fuel, according to Braley. Forty years ago the U.S. imported just 24 percent of the oil that was used to make gasoline. In 2012, 57 percent of the crude that was processed in U.S. refineries came from foreign sources.
Joni Ernst, Braley’s Republican opponent in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, is on active duty with her Iowa National Guard unit for training exercises in Wisconsin.