Branstad Met With OMB to Defend Biofuels Standard

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is an ardent defender of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Nov. 5, 2013, 4:57 a.m.

Corn grow­ers and bio­fuels makers got help from an ally last Wed­nes­day when Iowa Gov. Terry Bran­stad met with the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Budget to dis­cuss the re­new­able-fuel stand­ard. OMB is re­view­ing 2014 blend volumes, and bio­fuels makers are push­ing to re­tain cur­rent levels.

Re­cords show that Bran­stad met with three ad­min­is­tra­tion staffers, in­clud­ing Dan Utech, a deputy dir­ect­or for en­ergy and cli­mate change. Bran­stad, like many in corn coun­try, has been an out­spoken sup­port­er of the man­date and the eco­nom­ic boost it has giv­en his state.

There may have been some ur­gency to Bran­stad’s meet­ing: A leaked draft last month has many con­vinced that the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency will lower corn eth­an­ol volumes for 2014. A co­ali­tion of oil, food, and en­vir­on­ment­al groups say that’s a ne­ces­sary step due to de­clin­ing gas con­sump­tion and rising prices for oth­er corn products. Next year’s levels could be re­leased as soon as next week.