Bloomberg News is reporting that President Trump has directed the EPA to table proposals that would weaken the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Governor Kim Reynolds spoke by phone with President Trump Wednesday morning and a few hours later she told reporters in Pella that she intends to keep lobbying on the issue.
“It’s not done until it’s done and if you ever think that it is, you’re mistaken,” Reynolds said, “so you don’t stop until you get the final numbers.”
Reynolds spoke at a news conference in Pella. She was joined by leaders in the renewable fuels industry. Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said it was “discouraging” to see a federal agency “regressing” on Trump’s 2016 campaign pledge to “protect” the Renewable Fuels Standard.
“I urge President Trump and Administrator Pruitt in the EPA not to buckle in the interests of certain oil companies and refiners, but rather stay true on promises made on the campaign trail,” Kimberley said. “…This is about ‘America First’. This is about American jobs, American energy, national security and, certainly, it’s about rural America and the American heartland.”
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw said the EPA’s initial proposals weren’t “good news” and it was important that President Trump get that message.
“Quite frankly, it looked like the EPA was looking for just about any and every excuse it could find to lower the numbers for both corn ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol,” Shaw said. “It kind of felt like the EPA was saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to put up a giant sign across rural America that says: “Closed for business.”‘ And people got upset. People were disappointed and, to a certain extent, people even felt betrayed.”
On another front, Republican Joni Ernst has used her authority as a U.S. Senator to block a confirmation vote on the man Trump has nominated to run the renewable fuels program inside the EPA.
“Able to hold their feet to the fire on a pathway to receive those strong reassurances on these biofuel volumes and the EPA’s commitment to follow both the letter and the spirit of the RFS,” Ernst told Radio Iowa this afternoon.
Chuck Grassley, Iowa’s other Republican Senator, hosted a meeting in his office earlier this week for a group of Midwestern senators who spoke face-to-face with Pruit about these concerns.