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The Need for Biofuels

September 6, 2017
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

On Tuesday, August 29, I had the pleasure of meeting Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. One topic that has been on the mind of many citizens of Emmetsburg is biofuels. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency submitted a proposal to Congress to lower the cellulosic and advance biofuel volumes.

Previously, Senator Grassley has gone on record stating that his efforts to promote biofuels have been beneficial to Iowa:

"Iowans breathe cleaner air and can chalk up a stronger, healthier economy thanks to renewable fuels. My long-held support for public policies that foster growth, investment and substantiability in this emerging industry has yielded far-reaching results for state and local economies, the environment and energy security. Federal tax, energy and infrastructure policies that I have helped secure into federal law, such as the Renewable Fuel Standard enacted in 2005 and expanded in 2007, create a more level playing field with traditional fossil fuels, expand markets for homegrown commodities, trigger private sector investment and give consumers a choice to save money and the environment at the pump.

"For generations, Iowa farm commodities have anchored the tax base, wages, commerce and livelihoods for families across the state. Blessed with abundant natural resources, Iowa farmers are borrowing a page from the pioneers who plowed the prairie generations before them. Embracing innovation and technology, Iowa's stewards of the soil and captains of industry are writing a new chapter for the 21st century. They are finding a way to lay claim to the American Dream by feeding and fueling the world. The market for renewable fuels is boosting their bottom lines, creating good-paying jobs and paying it forward for future generations to come by creating clean energy solutions that grow America's energy independence. And it's happening in America's heartland.

"Iowa motorists saved more than $315 million in 2015 using ethanol-blended fuels, according to figures from the Iowa Department of Revenue. Bureaucratic foot-dragging and misguided arm-twisting by Big Oil and Big Grocers during the previous administration undermined the market for renewable fuels. And yet, Iowa continues to pave the way toward next generation, advanced biofuels. My advocacy for renewable fuels is as strong as ever.

"As the EPA considers the Renewable Volume Obligation for 2018, I will work to ensure the executive branch abides by congressional intent. The EPA should be promoting growth and investments in the biofuels sector. Congress set the bar for renewable fuel innovation and development for good reason. We support the production and use of renewable fuels because it's good for the environment, it's good for U.S. energy security and it's good for economic growth."

As a member of the press, I had the opportunity to question Senator Grassley one-on-one on his opinion of how biofuels impact the economy and the environment. "43,000 jobs in Iowa, not just for POET, but for all ethanol and biofuels. It supplies about 10% of the energy we put in our car. Equivalent to what we import from Saudi Arabia," commented Grassley. "It's good for farming- hire corn prices; corn prices aren't very high right now, but they'd be lower if you didn't have ethanol. It's good for the environment because it's cleaner burning. It's good for our national defense because you're less reliant on foreign sources of energy."

As Global Climate Change becomes a real issue and foreign tensions heighten, I think it is important as a community to continue our support of the production of ethanol.



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