The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 9, 2013

EPA plan to reduce RFS requirements: Misguided

It’s crucial for leaders in farm states like Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska to lead the fight against an Environmental Protection Agency plan to lower Renewable Fuel Standard requirements beginning next year.

Created in 2005, the federal RFS requires transportation fuel sold in the U.S. be blended with a minimum volume of renewable fuels, such as corn-based ethanol. Under a proposal announced earlier this month, the EPA would reduce the requirement for 2014 by three billion gallons.

Clearly, this plan would hurt agriculture states. Iowa, for example, is the number-one producer of ethanol in America. The industry supports some 55,000 jobs in the state and accounts for $5.4 billion of Iowa’s GDP, according to the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

Ethanol is good for America, too. In addition to creating jobs and economic activity (in 2012, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, the production of 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol directly employed 87,292 Americans, indirectly employed an additional 295,969 Americans and contributed $43.4 billion to the national GDP), clean-burning ethanol is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

But we’re preaching to the choir. In the heartland, we understand and appreciate the value and importance of renewable fuels, including ethanol.

This battle will be waged in Washington, largely against the lobbying efforts of the oil industry.

As we have said before, if the federal government wishes to reduce or end support for renewable fuels like ethanol, then it should end all forms of support, like tax writeoffs, for all energy producers, including oil.

Since the percentage-depletion allowance was created in 1913, the oil industry has enjoyed a wealth of tax breaks. Today, those tax writeoffs amount to billions of dollars each year. This at a time of record profits for the five largest oil companies.

Text Only
Opinion
  • 'Case Day' inspires students to aim high There's an MRCTV video circulating on the Internet that features a man with a microphone asking college students in Washington, D.C., to name just one member of the United States Senate. At least half a dozen are stumped. When he asks how many senato

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-15-14 13-Photo, Masters Bubba more than local hero? AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He plays a sexy game of golf, owns two green jackets and -- in what constitutes a show of major respect in these parts --Bubba Watson made rabid Georgia Bulldog fans take a break from spring football to watch some golf this weekend. A

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Leonard Pitts mug ...and this is Overkill News Network Enough, already. Please, for the love of Cronkite: Give us a break from the missing plane. Yes, we all wonder what happened to it. Yes, our hearts go out to the families seeking resolution. But really, CNN ... enough. Put your hands up and step away

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • If I can do it... If I can do this, you can also do this. What I would like to tell you about is being a volunteer driver for the Veterans Administration. I am retired from the electrical trade. I worked as an electrician for 36 years. When I took my retirement some t

    April 15, 2014

  • Allie Kibler mugshot YWCA camp offers fun for kids Each month YWCA members and volunteers are featured highlighting the many facets of our community in which they're a part of. This month, YWCA Youth Director, Allie Kibler shares information on this summer's YWCA Fun in the Sun Summer Camp program. T

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Could LBJ do as much today? Fifty years later, it's hard to imagine the enactment of the Civil Rights Act by today's polarized Congress. Maybe, as the old saying goes, today's fighting is so vicious because the stakes are so small. We Americans fight less among ourselves when w

    April 14, 2014

  • Retiring CCC instructors praise college's growth, direction After more than 35 years of service to Clinton Community College, we would like to offer some pre-retirement observations about the college: its past, its present and its future. When we arrived at the college in 1976, it had already been transforme

    April 14, 2014

  • School funding still an ongoing topic The budget still has several hurdles to jump before it is finalized. Now the House has to reach a consensus and then if the House and Senate cannot agree, a conference committee would have to merge the two versions. Finally, the governor has to sign

    April 12, 2014

  • Meier Take a survey, win a cruise; not going to happen A Clinton woman called me last week to report on a phone call she received. She first received a call from a young woman, who asked her to take a short survey. It sounded innocent enough, so she agreed, and answered a few questions, none of which so

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economic plan invests in Iowans Our work at the statehouse this week has been spent on the last few major budget bills. Since I serve as vice-chairwoman of the Economic Development Budget subcommittee, I have been focused on House File 2460. This bill funds small business developm

    April 12, 2014

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook