Ag and Biofuels Groups Thank Gov. Reynolds for Defending Them Against EPA False Narrative

October 18, 2019

Johnston, IA — Today ag and biofuel groups thanked Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for standing up for them and defending the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Last night, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds told Brownfield Ag News radio: “I’m going to hold the President to what he said and I’m going to hold the EPA accountable to follow through with what the deal actually was.” Talking specifically of the EPA proposal to use the DOE recommendations, Reynolds noted: “I understand completely the industry’s concerns and the hesitation about going with what [EPA proposed]. That’s not the language that we agreed to when we were in the office. And so we’re going to continue to try to go back to that and try to put that into the 30-day comment because we were pretty specific in the language that we asked for.” Reynolds concluded: “I’m going to continue to fight hard on behalf of our Iowa farmers and producers and a renewable fuel industry that I believe has a role to play.”

In response to Governor Reynolds support and setting the record straight, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, and Iowa Biodiesel Board issued the following joint statement:

“We are sincerely grateful to Governor Reynolds for standing by her constituents and setting the record straight. We told the truth at our press conference and we will not be cowed by the EPA’s questioning of our facts. The record is crystal clear: President Trump’s RFS deal guaranteed the integrity of the RFS. EPA’s proposal does not. We will continue to stand by President Trump’s deal, shared on October 4, and work with our supporters to ensure the final EPA rules reflect the President’s deal, which does guarantee that RFS levels will be met and not watered down by future exemptions.”

On Wednesday, October 16th, Iowa agriculture and biofuels groups came together to hold a press conference highlighting that the recent EPA draft supplemental RFS rule reneged on President Trump’s deal to guarantee the integrity of the RFS. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board noted the language in the EPA proposed rule was not consistent with what President Trump agreed to with Midwest elected officials on Sept. 12, was not what White House and EPA officials briefed biofuels supporters on the eve of the public announcement, and was not what EPA Administrator Wheeler told Iowans during the public rollout on Oct. 4th.

EPA responded by questioning the validity of Iowa’s agriculture and biofuels leaders’ statements, claiming they were “not accurate,” while painting a false narrative that their draft rule was in fact “the text of the agreement negotiated by President Trump.”

Reynolds came to the defense of Iowa farmers and biofuels supporters by backing up their facts. As one of the key participants in the September 12th Oval Office meeting with President Trump, Reynolds has first-hand knowledge of what was discussed and agreed to. In fact, the key component of the proposed rule, that small refinery exemptions (SREs) should be accounted for using the lower DOE recommendations instead of actual EPA SRE approvals, was not even discussed, let alone agreed to, with the President. The only fix discussed with the president was using a 3-year rolling average of actual past EPA SRE approvals.

Click here to view a fact sheet on the real difference between DOE recommendations and EPA’s granted waivers.

Important Timeline and Facts

The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.