The renewable fuels industry has the capacity to produce well beyond the levels set by the EPA. What they need now is fair access to the fuel distribution system, which is unfortunately controlled by the Big Oil companies.
In their opposition to the RFS, Big Oil refer to the “blend wall,” which is their effort to limit renewable fuels to just 10 percent of the fuel supply. This artificial ceiling is just another effort by the oil industry to prevent more lower-priced, clean-burning renewable fuels from entering the fuel supply. In fact, there are lots of opportunities for higher ethanol blends. The vast majority of cars, all of those made since 2001, can run on E15 (15 percent ethanol) and many cars, those that are flex-fuel, can run on E85 (85 percent ethanol).
It makes me scratch my head that an administration so focused on climate change would take action to limit access to renewable fuels that have been shown to significantly reduce greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions.
The oil industry wants to limit the fuel choices for consumers and keep them buying their high-price, non-renewable petroleum based fuels. It is wrong for the EPA to support them.
The EPA is currently accepting comments on the proposed changes and it is extremely important that Iowans take the time to comment and express their opposition to the EPA’s proposal. Comments can be submitted online at www.regulations.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments should reference Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0479.
Iowa is fortunate to have a governor who understands the importance of the renewable fuels industry and has created a website, ProtecttheRFS.com where you can sign a petition encouraging the EPA to support clean-burning, homegrown renewable fuels.
Now is the time to be heard. The renewable fuels standard needs to be protected and it is important that we as Iowans stand up and let the EPA know we don’t want to be held over a barrel by Big Oil.
Northey, a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as secretary of agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to all Iowans to tell the story of Iowa agriculture. To learn more visit www.IowaAgriculture.gov.