Gov. Reynolds Honored at Ethanol Conference

March 2, 2023 by Dan McCue
Gov. Reynolds Honored at Ethanol Conference
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

ORLANDO, Fla. — Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds received the Renewable Fuels Association’s annual Industry Award on Thursday for her efforts to convince the Biden administration to end a prohibition on sales of E15 gasoline during the summer.

As reported by The Well News on Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency is poised to enact a change in the nation’s fuel policy, allowing the year-round sale of higher-ethanol E15 gasoline.

E15 is typically banned from June to September under the Clean Air Act because it evaporates more quickly than other fuels, raising air pollution concerns.

But a bipartisan coalition of governors, led by Reynolds, pressed for the change, arguing it made good economic sense for their communities and would make more fuel available during the nation’s peak driving months.

The proposed rule published by the EPA Wednesday sets that change in motion, only the agency has said it won’t take effect until the summer of 2024, a year later than biofuel boosters like Reynolds had hoped.

If the rule is adopted, it would remove the 1-psi waiver in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin on April 28, 2024.

“Receiving the All-Industry Award is a personal honor and a humbling validation of our many years spent fighting for renewable fuels, going back to my time as lieutenant governor and testifying against efforts to water down the renewable fuels standard,” Reynolds said after receiving the award. 

“Since then, my belief in this industry has never wavered. I even made a point to give biofuels a shoutout in my response last year to President Biden’s State of the Union,” she said.

“And make no mistake, as the nation’s attention turns to Iowa heading into 2024, renewable fuels will be part of the conversation.” 

Reynolds went on to say that she is proud to have led the bipartisan effort that induced the EPA to act, and predicted the “impact of this victory will be enormous.”

“However,” she said, “with Washington there is always a catch. In addition to the White House forcing the EPA, unlawfully, to slow-walk the rule, they have also delayed implementation until the next summer’s driving season. 

“This arbitrary deadline is unacceptable and disappointing, but hardly surprising and we won’t accept it without a fight. I’m requesting another emergency waiver for this year while at the same time asking the courts to require the administration to grant our request immediately. I’ve also requested a meeting with Biden to discuss the critical timeliness of the waiver,” Reynolds said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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