Iowa Gov. Branstad: The EPA is totally waging a “war on corn”

posted at 5:21 pm on November 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Yes, I’m sure that’s it. This is coming from a Republican governor, no less, with Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Steven King by his side. Terrific.

Gov. Terry Branstad said the Environmental Protection Agency has “embarked in a war on corn” with its proposal of lowering the current Renewable Fuel Standard at an event on Friday at the Lincolnway Energy plant in Nevada.

The message of “Don’t Mess with the RFS” was made loud and clear Friday by citizens and politicians from all over Iowa at the rally, which was put together by the state and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. …

“We produce more ethanol than we consume in gasoline in this state,” Branstad told the crowd, which responded with raucous applause. “This is one of the reasons we have a strong economy in Iowa, much stronger than the rest of the county. You may have heard the unemployment numbers and it shot to 4.6 percent in Iowa.

“We can’t let the EPA send it in the wrong direction,” he continued. “This industry provides good paying and vital jobs right here in communities all across the state. It supports our communities and our rural way of life and it provides American made renewable fuel and other byproducts.” …

“This flabbergasts me. This decision, this proposal by the EPA, its flabbergasting because after all, I remember Barack Obama coming all over Iowa,” King said. “He launched his campaign here and he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Iowa launching his campaign in the caucuses.

“It was all about renewable energy, the green industry was going to be developed,” he continued. “How could you be all about green industry, when this kind of proposal comes out of the EPA?”

Well, perhaps the EPA’s reduction proposal had a little something to do with them finally relenting on their misguided, market-distorting, price-spiking, not-”green” quest to give the ethanol industry a leg up through the Renewable Fuel Standard, and ergo give a cheap and cronyish boost to their own political discussions of their magnanimous climate-change plans, because they finally came to grips with reality? Maybe? Via RealClearEnergy:

The top line shows gasoline consumption, which has been declining steadily since 2006 due to improved gas mileage and the economic recession. The bottom line shows ethanol’s climb up the ladder of production since the mandates from the Alternative Fuel Act of 2007 have gone into effect. The two trends have now collided. Last year, the EPA mandated more ethanol than refiners could accommodate without pushing beyond the blend wall, the point where auto manufacturers will no longer honor warranties on cars manufactured before 2006. This set off a bidding war for the substitute Renewable Fuel Credits, which started driving up the price of gasoline.

Big Ethanol is convinced that they can mount a legal challenge to the EPA’s authority to roll back the required ethanol-to-gasoline volumes by any degree, and I do think it will be up to Congress to finally repeal this epic boondoggle once and for all (because the EPA’s mild backtrack doesn’t go nearly far enough) — but Iowa Republicans’ willingness to throw their usual free-market positions under the bus on behalf of the corn lobby is a testament to just how difficult that task will be.


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Shut up, corn holer.

Ward Cleaver on November 25, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Get the government out of big business so we can get big business out of government. Any fool who doesn’t understand this relationship, by now, must be a liberal…there are a lot of fools in the world.

NotCoach on November 25, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I`m so damn sick of Iowa.

ThePrez on November 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Screw you, Iowa. You want this crap, YOU pay for it, but leave me alone

Signed
NOT in Iowa.

Intrepid767 on November 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Hey, Republicans get addicted to subsidies just like Democrats do, it’s human nature – and the entire idea behind the welfare state.

The only way to go is cold turkey. Cut ALL agri-subsidies EXCEPT those to “family farmers” with adjusted gross incomes under $250,000 per year.

Adjoran on November 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I almost fell for it. A war on coal.
That’s something different. Or a war on cola. That’s what bloomberg and all is doing. But get the corn out of our engines at least. It damages engines.

anotherJoe on November 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

“We produce more ethanol than we consume in gasoline in this state,” Branstad told the crowd, which responded with raucous applause. “This is one of the reasons we have a strong economy in Iowa, much stronger than the rest of the county.

Or, you know, because the rest of the country subsidizes you to grow something we don’t need.

taxes –> corn growers –> ethanol –> your fuel tank –>
You –> taxes –> corn growers…

WitchDoctor on November 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Shut up Iowa. Take your corn and find ways to share it with starving people.

22044 on November 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM

It is disturbing to me that Congressman King would do this. I had liked him for taking some hard stances (even some I disagree with), but to cave to the ethanol lobby which is bad for both our economy and ecology makes me feel pretty meh about him.

thuja on November 25, 2013 at 5:38 PM

There is NO LIMIT on how much the CORN LOBBY wants to RIP-OFF Americans for their own profit.

TeaPartyNation on November 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Get lost, Branstad. You’re wanting to hold the nation hostage to an economic and starvation catastrophe.

sadatoni on November 25, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Iowa. I remember in Romney’s disastrous second debate with Obama (and his third was worse), he interrupted CNN’s Crowley rudely and said he must continue despite his time being up… to say that Obama was not telling the truth when he said that Romney would suspend wind tax credits for Iowans. Of course, that was a month or so after Romney had come out to all cheers around here saying that he was going to stop the idiotic tax credits for wind. But Iowa, I guess Romney didn’t tell us he was making an exception for Iowa. Romney, the unbridled [snip].

anotherJoe on November 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

This is something that ideologically conservatives and liberals can agree on.

Conservatives hate the market distortions. Liberals and conservatives hate the handouts to big-Ag.

Only moderates continue to support this giant boondoggle.

weaselyone on November 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

war on corn? lol i just love how that sounds…

Sachiko on November 25, 2013 at 5:48 PM

“This industry provides good paying and vital jobs right here in communities all across the state. It supports our communities and our rural way of life and it provides American made renewable fuel and other byproducts.” …

Lobbyists can say essentially the same thing about their industry in Washington, DC.

weaselyone on November 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Gov Branny likes his job, and his campaign coffer contributions. What else can he say?

Marcola on November 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Iowa Republicans’ willingness to throw their usual free-market positions under the bus on behalf of the corn lobby is a testament to just how difficult that task will be.

When it comes to STUPID GESTURES you can’t beat a Republican.

GarandFan on November 25, 2013 at 5:54 PM

What if EPA or the Federal Government were to set a price cap on corn? Doubtful that sort of top-down government mandate would be that favorable to Iowa citizens.

The shoe just happens to be on the right foot and not the wrong one, right Governor Branstad? Kick away.

weaselyone on November 25, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Or, you know, because the rest of the country subsidizes you to grow something we don’t need.

taxes –> corn growers –> ethanol –> your fuel tank –>
You –> taxes –> corn growers…

WitchDoctor on November 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Do not forget the HIGHER food prices everyone pays as we burn corn instead of either eating it or using it as feed for farm animals that we also eat!

Freddy on November 25, 2013 at 5:56 PM

More energy goes into making a gallon of ethanol than is contained in a gallon of ethanol. The day they can provide the energy to make the stuff using ethanol as their energy source, and have some ethanol left over, I’ll buy into it. That ain’t now.

iurockhead on November 25, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Gov no-Brainy put corn in your own gas tank and the cob up your … Because of putting food in the gas tank the cost of food has skyrocketed.

Wade on November 25, 2013 at 5:57 PM

The only difference between a Repub and a Dem is their donor list. They both want a bigger fatter government that THEY can run. All are whores at the trough.

patrick neid on November 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Are we at war with the corn cobs? Or just the colonel? :)

faraway on November 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Happy Holidays from Obama’s Organizing For Action website.

HEALTH CARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
This holiday season, millions of Americans have a chance to get quality, affordable health insurance—many for the first time. If you have family members who are uninsured, you can play a big part in helping them find coverage that works for them. It might not always seem like it, but your family listens to you. So have the talk.

PICK A TIME

Start early: Don’t wait until the last minute—be sure to start the conversation early!

Integrate the talk into family time: Take advantage of downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk.

Talk
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU’LL BRING IT UP

Make it personal: Be honest about your feelings and why this is important to you.

Be persistent, but keep it positive: Tell them you care about their health, and focus on the benefits that come from knowing that you have health insurance.

kcewa on November 25, 2013 at 6:05 PM

CULT INDOCTRINATION FOR THE HOLIDAYS

faraway on November 25, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Q) What’s a buccaneer?

1) A football player for Tampa Bay
2) A pirate
3) What you pay for corn because of Big Ethanol.

Steve Z on November 25, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Sad to say in this instance I’m from IA. My respect for Grassley has always been lowered by the fact that he supports Ethanol and Wind here despite that they are not good for America. I’m surprised to see King there – that’s a bad sign. I’ll be sure to ask Branstad and King about it next time they have a campaign stop nearby.

Free Indeed on November 25, 2013 at 6:12 PM

The EPA is totally waging a “war on corn”

Good, I hate bad jokes.

whatcat on November 25, 2013 at 6:13 PM

What’s a buccaneer?
Steve Z on November 25, 2013 at 6:12 PM

It’s what gets frozen in winter if you don’t wear a buccan’ wool cap over it.

whatcat on November 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Gov. Bransted should mandate that all farm vehicles in Iowa be 100% ethanol fueled. That would increase demand and put the extra cost of ethanol right were it belongs.

KenInIL on November 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

War On Corn??? Amaizing.

GreenBlade on November 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Well, he’s a politician; of course he’s going to defend his stroll.

PersonFromPorlock on November 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

iowa legislature is free to mandate any level of ethanol they want for gas sold in their borders, but leave the rest of us the hell alone.

dmacleo on November 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM

If I’m not mistaken, Iowa voted for Obama and his Gestapo EPA. You reap what you sow!

cajunpatriot on November 25, 2013 at 6:45 PM

You mean your subsidies are threatened?

rickv404 on November 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Thus proving once again just how much of government is really just interest groups trying to pull a fast one on the rest of society.

Terry Branstad, you should be ashamed of yourself and your state’s gluttony. And somehow, I know that you are not…

JohnGalt23 on November 25, 2013 at 7:27 PM

the cronies and leftists have this country by the throat. So the farmer or agribusiness employee votes for barry (or any RINO) and gets a pocket full of money.

meanwhile the ideological people drive the country into whatever leftist fantasy they can think of…barry.care, CAGW, everything. In the end, the farmer along with all citizens will be screwed. But maybe the farmer and the RINO have saved enough of the ill-gotten gains to make a life. At least that’s what the RINOs are betting on.

r keller on November 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Steve King. Seriously?

ctmom on November 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Go to hell Iowa. No offense to any Iowans here, but they make me sick

Very liberal state that always vote Dem in general election. I wished Republicans would ignore the damned state.

Redford on November 25, 2013 at 7:48 PM

. “This is one of the reasons we have a strong economy in Iowa, much stronger than the rest of the county.”

Iowa, the WIC-supported crack baby of the Midwest.

M240H on November 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

They voted for it, too bad. Let it burn.

Neo on November 25, 2013 at 8:22 PM

As an Iowan it is hard to watch our republican reps come out in favor of this. But not surprising.

We’re down to only one republican representative out of four, where not long ago we had three of five. We’ve voted blue in the last two presidential elections, and outgoing Sen. Harkin’s (D) seat will be filled by a democrat next November. We’ve had Democrat governors since Branstad’s last stint as governor. Whether they really want the subsidies or not, Iowa grain farmers (note: not livestock farmers) and everyone related wants these subsidies. If King, Grassley, and Branstad want to keep their jobs, they have to come out in favor of the ethanol subsidies.

For me, while it’s nice for my Dem parents, who raised seven Conservative children, to finally have some disposable income for the first time in their life (thanks to family crop land), I know it’s only because of the corn subsidies. And it still sucks paying the inflated price for my beloved beef and pork, and can’t wait to see it end!!

Goody2Shoes on November 25, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Remind me again why the GOPe just has to have a caucus there. Seriously.

Myron Falwell on November 25, 2013 at 8:37 PM

They voted for it, too bad. Let it burn pop.

Neo on November 25, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Fixed.

Myron Falwell on November 25, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Corn mandate…Light Bulb mandate….Health Care mandate….

NONE OF THE ABOVE HAVE ANY LEGITIMATE PLACE in our “Sweet Land of Liberty”!!!

If our court system had not been subverted by political hackery and negligence, all of these would have been declared unconstitutional long ago.

landlines on November 25, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Iowa the Pirate State

tmitsss on November 25, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I piss on your corn. It is ruinous.

pat on November 26, 2013 at 2:06 AM

Ag is king in Iowa. Taking a stand against ethanol here is suicide. Both parties know it. You have to allow pols some freedom with their local “third rail” issues. That’s the way it is. If the GOP didn’t support ethanol, the Dems would, and they’d win elections doing it. All pols, both parties, do it. It’s de rigueur in one’s home state. If you think your congressmen aren’t working to bring home the bacon, you’re not looking hard enough.

Cornfed on November 26, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The EPA is worrying about methane gas from cows farts; they forget that there were millions of buffalo at one time, what’s their answer to that?

mixplix on November 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I do not like how the ethanol mandates are reducing the supply and raising the price of diesel and other distillate fuels.

The mandate replaces ~10% of the gasoline market with ethanol; but if refiners cut production of gasoline by 10%, they must also cut production of diesel. And that is what has happened. Gasoline supplies are at a 5-year high, while distillate stocks are below the range for the last five years. Refiners are selling gasoline at a loss, selling it as fast as they make it for whatever price they can get, but still able to keep operating because the distillate margins are high enough.

J Baustian on November 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Go here for a list of ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada.

Couldn’t agree more, Erika. There’s a multitude of reasons to oppose the EPA and want the whole godforsaken organization shut down, but reducing ethanol in our gasoline isn’t one of them.

I’ll stick with Idaho potatoes and pass up Iowa corn, thank you very much!

Sir Rants-A-Lot on November 26, 2013 at 7:43 PM