[Masthead] Fair ~ 70°F  
High: 71°F ~ Low: 43°F
Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Branstad touts renewables at Merrill ethanol plant

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

(Photo)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad answers questions from reporters after a tour of Plymouth Energy, of Merrill. Branstad joined Eamonn Bryne, the ethanol plant's CEO, and Plymouth Energy board members for a tour of the facility Monday.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he was really excited to be at Plymouth Energy, an ethanol plant near Merrill.

Branstad was joined by Eamonn Bryne, Plymouth Energy chief executive officer, and Plymouth Energy board members in a tour of the plant.

The importance of renewable fuels such as the ethanol was the focus of the governor's comments to news reporters after the plant tour near the town of 755 people.

"Merrill's a small town, but they've been able to hire people here locally, they've provided a market for corn and, obviously, they've also provided a source of feed for cattle and pigs locally," he said.

Dried and wet distillers grains are co-products of ethanol production fed to cattle and hogs.

Branstad acknowledged it's not possible to meet all of the nation's fuel needs with renewables, but spoke of the importance of reducing a dependence on foreign oil for fuel.

"I believe we should have a national policy that says within five or six years, we don't want to be importing any oil -- we want to purchase domestically from North Dakota, Texas and Kansas and we want to use renewable fuels," Branstad said.

He said that policy could make a difference in the nation's future.

"We won't be dependent on the Middle East or Venezuela or countries that are not our friends," Branstad said.

He said he's using his role as chairman of the Midwest Governor's Association for 2012 to promote renewable fuels.

"I just recently signed a letter, along with Gov. (Pat) Quinn from Illinois and Gov. (Sam) Brownback from Kansas, telling what we've done to promote E15 and blender pumps in our states and encouraging the other governors in the Midwest to do similarly," Branstad said.

Keeping the ethanol industry profitable is a concern the Iowa governor voiced to reporters.

"We just saw a plant in Nebraska close so we want to do all we can to help with the profitability of it and one of the big things is to have a reliable consumer demand for ethanol," Branstad said,

Retaining the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which established the nation's first renewable fuel mandate, is a key to the profitability of ethanol plants, the governor said.

Federal law currently requires the amount of renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel to increase from from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022, according to the Environmental Protection Agency website.

Branstad said he wants to do all he can to encourage the growth of the ethanol industry and to maintain the RFS at the federal level.

"That's the way we can continue to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and replace it with renewables," he said.


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on lemarssentinel.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

I wish an honest government official would tell us the real truth that most Americans already know, there is no fuel shortage and that our country can pull away from foreign oil years ago... If we are so short on fuel oil, then why are we shipping our oil over to Europe? Why?

The ethanol plant in Merrill is a waste of tax payers money, enthanol is not cost effective and never will be... Turn that plant into a distillery plant, then maybe it will make a buck or two.... I'd like to know what kind of a kickback Branstad is getting

-- Posted by fadersharley on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 1:38 PM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on this site, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.