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Iowa governor cautiously optimistic on potential RFS announcement

Article cover photo
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she's optimistic about a potential reformulated RFS after talks with President Donald Trump (Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Bethany Baratta, ISA senior writer

After a meeting with President Donald Trump last week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she’s optimistic the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider reformulating volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). However, she said she’s not celebrating just yet.

“The devil is in the details, so we have to see it in writing,” Reynolds told farmers and biodiesel leaders at the regional annual meeting of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and the National Biodiesel Board held in Des Moines on Thursday. Reynolds hoped to see the specifics of a reformulated RFS yet this week.

According to Reynolds, a top priority in discussions with the president and his administration has been the ripple effect of the 31 small refinery exemption (SRE) waivers granted last month.

The meeting with the president last week also included representatives from U.S. soybean, biodiesel, corn and ethanol industries.

“We were able to speak with a consistent and united message to tell the administration to stop the bleeding that the SREs are causing,” she said.

Part of that message, Reynolds explained, was reiterating to the president how the exempted gallons could be reallocated. The proposed volumes set under the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) should consider a 3-year rolling average of the gallons exempted as part of the small refinery exemptions.

Reynolds said the administration discussed a 13-point plan regarding biofuels. She didn’t elaborate on the details of that proposed plan, but said she left the meeting feeling “very optimistic.”

A meeting between President Trump and representatives from oil-producing was set to take place Thursday. Reynolds said she’s watching those conversations closely.

“We’re in a crisis. We’re losing an industry and we need to react,” Reynolds said, noting the EPA’s announcement of the exemptions came during a period of 10-year low soybean prices. “Our hope is our meeting with the president will result in the deal that we signed off on that will immediately reverse this downward trend.”

Contact Bethany Baratta at

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