Iowa joins opposition to California fuel standards law

Iowa's governor says allowing the California Air Resources Board’s unconstitutional fuel standards to take effect would hurt Iowa's corn farmers and ethanol markets.

Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that Iowa has joined the Amicus Brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing California’s fuel standards law that discriminates against Iowa’s corn farmers and ethanol plants.

Gov. Branstad and AG Miller, along with other Midwestern states, argue that allowing the California Air Resources Board’s unconstitutional fuel standards to take effect would hurt our corn farmers and ethanol markets. The California law gives California-made ethanol a legal preference over Midwest ethanol, and is an illegal trade barrier between states.

The brief, which was filed by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and co-signed by the attorney generals of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota, and Gov. Branstad, argues that the court should rule against the request for a stay based on the following three arguments:

  • California is unlikely to prevail on the merits because California’s fuel standards discriminate against ethanol produced in Midwestern states in favor of ethanol produced in California.
  • California’s fuel standards violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause because it is a improper exercise of extra-territorial regulation.
  • A stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction and judgments will substantially injure the economies of the Amici States and is against the public interest.

According to a 2012 Iowa Renewable Fuels Association study, the ethanol industry in Iowa accounts for nearly $6 billion of Iowa’s GDP. In 2011, the ethanol industry supported more than 82,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy and generated $3.7 billion of income for Iowa households.

The full Amicus Brief can be read here.

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