PELLA, Iowa -- On Wednesday Governor Reynolds along with leaders in the bio fuel industry, told the Trump Administration the president needs to step in against the EPA or be at risk of breaking one of his campaign promises; and it may have worked.
In July the EPA, lead by administrator Scott Pruitt, announced the agency was considering rollbacks in the renewable fuel standard; the amount of bio fuels that are mixed into the nations gas supply.
At a press conference in Pella Governor Reynolds discussed her efforts via phone calls with both the EPA and the White House
“Following my call with administrator Pruitt I had a very productive call with President Trump, where both of them personally affirmed to me their continued commitment to the renewable fuel standard” said Reynolds.
Right after the press conference ended a Bloomberg Politics report was released saying that the White House has directed the EPA to "stand down efforts to weaken the federal bio fuel mandate".
If this rollback would happen it would be devastating to the Iowa economy.
According to the Renewable Fuel Association it would put 11,000 Iowa jobs at risk and would spiral the ag economy into a crisis the state hasn't seen since the 1980s.
The issue is important for the president's image in the state because during his campaign in Iowa he promised to maintain the RFS and even have it grow under his administration.
Had the bio fuel quota been rolled back it would have been seen as a win for the fossil fuel industry where EPA Administrator Pruitt has close ties. As a candidate he received almost 300,000 thousand in campaign dollars from the oil and gas industry.
Despite the Bloomberg report, Governor Reynolds won’t be celebrating until the EPA puts pen to paper and announces their final bio fuel quotas later in the year.
“It's not done until it's done, and if you ever think that it is than you're mistaken. So you don't stop until you get the final numbers, and then you start working on the next one, and it starts the next day; and because this is so important to Iowa, to rural Iowa, to our economy, to choice at the pump, we are not gonna stop” she said.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says by 2018 bio fuel will account for 5.6 billion dollars of Iowa’s GDP.