The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association last week announced that Iowa's elected leaders are united in opposing a Congressional effort to ban E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) from competing in the fuel marketplace. Recently Members of Congress from Texas and Oklahoma have introduced amendments to the FY2012 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that would essentially ban E15, a legal competitor to petroleum based gasoline.
"We are pleased that Iowa's elected leaders are standing up for the right of American consumers to choose ethanol blends like E15," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "This blatant attack on consumer freedom and America's energy security will not go unchallenged and it will not become law."
Several presidential candidates have also spoken out against the effort by these Congressmen and others to ban E15. See video of the presidential candidates expressing their opinions at http://iowansfueledwithpride.com/.
Reject effort to subvert free market and curtail consumer choice
"We are asking all Iowans and anyone else in any state who wishes to defend ethanol and renewable fuels to please contact their Congressional representatives in Washington D.C. and urge Congress to reject the effort by these congressmen from Oklahoma and Texas to subvert the free market and curtain consumer choice."
After the most extensive testing in the history of federal fuel approvals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E15 for model year 2001 and newer passenger vehicles. Representative John Sullivan (R-OK) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced amendments that would prevent the EPA from using funds to implement the recent approval of E15.
"These amendments are nothing more than appropriations gimmicks designed to subvert the scientific and legal process that led to the approval of E15 as a consumer choice," adds Shaw. "We are confident that Congress will ultimately stand for consumer fuel choice and enhanced energy security for America by opposing these anti-free market amendments."
The following responses are from Iowa's elected officials regarding the effort to ban E15:
* Gov. Terry Branstad: "It makes no sense. We have been working for years to try to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Through ethanol we've made some progress."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARng1xvbx8Y
* Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey: "This is just wrong-headed. The least expensive energy source for liquid fuels that we have for our vehicles today is ethanol."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUyqj5FwVto
* Senator Charles Grassley: "I hope it fails. I don't understand why anybody whatsoever would be against domestic, renewable, clean-burning fuel."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rfJwQyUhuA
* Senator Tom Harkin: "I just want to assure everyone it's not going anywhere. There are still those that are at the beck and call of the big oil companies, quite frankly. And they're going to try to stop us. But we're going to move ahead with E15 I can assure you."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9_tMx7lpcE&feature=related
* Rep. Tom Latham: "We're going to be fighting that obviously. E15 is so important, I think, for energy independence and for the kind of clean energy we need in this country."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0VK044op4k
* Rep. Steve King: "I'll be working very hard to oppose any of those amendments that would ban E15. This is protectionism on the part of the petroleum industry."
Click here for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK0WoxQLVpY
* Representatives Leonard Boswell, Bruce Braley, and Dave Loebsack also oppose the effort to ban E15.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at www.IowaRFA.org