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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts, Lt. Gov. Reynolds Hold Last Chance Rally to Support the Renewable Fuel Standard

Nebraska Farm Bureau and Novozymes join Midwest leaders to encourage RFS supporters to make their voices heard

Deadline to comment on proposed changes to the RFS is July 27, 2015

Comments from Nebraska, Iowa congressional delegations attached

Blair, Nebraska – Today, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds joined Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson and Novozymes General Manager Kyle Nixon at the company’s enzyme plant in Blair, Nebraska to express the potential economic impact on Nebraska and Iowa of the pending EPA proposal to slash billions of gallons from America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). If enacted, it would threaten thousands of jobs and the billions of dollars of investments by ethanol producers and technology providers in Nebraska and Iowa.

“Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry, and ethanol is one of the key agricultural growth industries that have added billions in revenue and thousands of jobs over the past decade to our state,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. “These efforts were undertaken in expectation that such efforts would meet the commitment of this nation to renewable fuels established by the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nebraskans have cause for concern because the EPA’s proposal to slash billions of gallons of biofuels from the RFS has the potential to negatively impact the future growth of our state. The RFS is an achievable and ambitious target and must be maintained.”

According to a 2015 economic analysis by Fuels America, the RFS is driving $184 billion in economic activity and more than 850,000 jobs with $46 billion in wages across America. This is the result of years of investment by the biofuel sector to bring clean, low carbon renewable fuels to market. This activity creates a ripple effect as supplier firms and employees re-spend throughout the economy. The local impact for Nebraska is $11.1 billion and nearly 40,000 jobs. Likewise, the impact for Iowa is $19.3 billion and 73,000 jobs.

“A robust Renewable Fuel Standard creates quality careers, increases family incomes, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, provides sustainable renewable energy, and fosters growth in the biofuels and agricultural industries,” said Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. “Those of us in America’s Heartland know the importance of a strong Renewable Fuels Standard and we hope as more supportive comments arrive before the July 27th deadline, the EPA will reverse course and partner with us to continue growing America’s renewable energy sector through a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Today, the United States creates 14 billion gallons of home-grown biofuels for our cars, trucks and our growing military needs—more than we import from Saudi Arabia. The group that will likely feel the impact of this proposal the most is America’s farmers.

“EPA’s decision to not follow the intent of Congress when it developed the RFS2 in 2007 is highly disappointing to all of agriculture,” said Steve Nelson, President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. “Renewable fuels, more specifically corn based ethanol, has been a tremendous success story for the nation as a whole as well as to Nebraska’s rural economy. The RFS has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and has provided good paying jobs within rural America. EPA’s proposal is a step in the wrong direction and ignores the benefits ethanol and biofuels have provided.”

Novozymes has played a leading role in the development of the existing biofuels industry and the growing advanced biofuels industry. Enzymes from its Blair, Nebraska plant allow agricultural products like corn starch and corn stover to be converted into conventional and advanced biofuels. The enzyme plant has helped realize two of the Obama Administration’s key goals for renewable energy: creating short-term construction and long-term professional jobs, and helping move the U.S. away from foreign oil and towards homegrown renewable fuel, energizing the economy and increasing domestic security.

“The RFS is not just a policy it’s how we live our lives. Today Novozymes has 127 full time employees in Nebraska and Iowa—jobs that were created in large part, due to the RFS,” said Kyle Nixon, Novozymes General Manager. “We care deeply for our communities and want to see benefits like jobs, worker training and tax revenues continue to grow.”

APPROACHING THE EPA COMMENT DEADLINE ON JULY 27TH

Many groups have rallied their members to voice their concerns in support of the RFS and encourage the public to join the effort in support of biofuels. Some of the activities to date include:

  •       Bipartisan letter signed by 37 senators including Iowa senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Nebraska senator Deb Fischer urging the agency to set strong biofuel volume requirements for 2014 and beyond
  •       Letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds
  •       Letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
  •       Letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed by Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
  •       Testimony at the EPA’s recent field hearing and participation in a Rally for Rural America in Kansas City by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Nebraska Energy Office Director David Bracht (on behalf of Governor Ricketts)
  •       All group members filing written comments to the EPA
  •       Fuels America online petition (nearly 200,000 signatures)

About Novozymes

Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with customers, partners and the global community, the company improves industrial performance while preserving the planet’s resources and helping build better lives. As the world’s largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies, its bioinnovation enables higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production, renewable fuel and many other benefits that we rely on today and in the future. www.novozymes.com

Federal Delegation Statement

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