An Iowa lawmaker has penned a letter, to President Barack Obama, lashing out at the White House and the EPA for a plan that could cut amount of ethanol that oil refiners must blend into gasoline.
Right now, the EPA is considering several options. But, the one that eastern Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is worried about would roll back volume commitments within the Renewable Fuel Standard. Rep. Bruce Braley, (D) Iowa said, "Congress made these commitments because we wanted to send a strong message that we need to expand our energy choices."
Braley says biofuels, like ethanol, supports 400,000 jobs. Many are in Braley's home state of Iowa. Rep. Bruce Braley, (D) Iowa said, "We've seen, in Iowa, what a tremendous economic boon this has been to our state."
It's an industry that's so important, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad flew to Washington, last week, to meet with White House staffers to talk about federal biofuel regulation. Spokesman Tim Albrecht says Branstad "is a longtime supporter of renewable fuels, and believes more competition in the marketplace leads to lower prices at the pump, and better options for consumers." Albrecht says Branstad "does not think we should backtrack on this issue." Rep. Bruce Braley, (D) Iowa said, "We can't go backwards on that commitment. It's too important to our state. It's too important to our energy independence, and to our security. And, that's why I called upon the president to stay committed to a new energy future."
Braley's letter includes an open invitation to President Obama. Rep. Bruce Braley, (D) Iowa said, "It seems strange to me that his administration would release a proposal to roll back that commitment when the industry is booming in Iowa, and that's why I've suggested he get out of Washington, come to Iowa, to see how biofuels are transforming the economy."
Not everyone agrees. 169 members of the U.S. House have signed a letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy urging the EPA to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard, arguing the current mandate is "unrealistic."
According to a draft of the plan, the EPA could scale back its mandate for ethanol by roughly 3-billion gallons. The EPA could release its final plan for the Renewable Fuels Standard, for 2014, in next few days.
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