Gov. Kim Reynolds had phone conversations today with both President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about a controversial proposal to scale back the Renewable Fuel Standard, reducing the mandate for Iowa-grown biofuels.
Iowa politicians are putting a full-court press on the Trump administration, after the EPA proposed reducing the volume of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol blended into gasoline.
Reynolds called her conversation with the president “constructive and productive.”
In his phone call, Reynolds said Scott Pruitt stated the EPA plan to scale back the RFS has been misinterpreted.
“He said that was not the intent, that this was actually part of the process,” Reynolds said. “He feels that what he's been trying to do has been taken somewhat out of context.”
Reynolds said she challenged Pruitt on that statement.
“We’re going to continue to hold him accountable,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds stressed that Pruitt reached out to her.
“They feel the pressure,” she said.
Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley this week said he may try to block President Trump's nominees for key posts at the Environmental Protection Agency if the EPA does not back off its proposed reductions..
"I've made it clear that EPA's latest proposal under the RFS would break the president's and Administrator Pruitt's commitment on this issue," Grassley said.
Reynolds plans to travel to Washington, D.C. next week to speak with Pruitt and Vice-President Mike Pence about the RFS.
Bloomberg News this afternoon is quoting unnamed sources saying White House officials have directed the EPA to stand down on efforts to weaken the RFS. The report said the EPA was told to pull back on a possible reduction in biodiesel requirements and a proposal to allow exported renewable fuel to count toward domestic quotas.