Dozens of Iowa-Based Groups and More than 91,000 People Ask Presidential Candidates to Reject Failed Biofuels Policy

Through both in-person and digital deliveries today, all of the 2020 presidential candidates are hearing from more than 50 Iowa-based groups and leaders and more than 91,000 people concerned about the damage that our nation’s biofuels addiction is causing the environment.

“Unfortunately, both parties are largely blind to the catastrophic consequences of embracing biofuels,” said Rose Garr, campaign director at Mighty Earth. “At a time when our planet is already facing a climate crisis, our biofuels policies are increasing carbon emissions and destroying millions of acres of prairies, wetlands, and forests.”

The petition, which was organized by environmental organization Mighty Earth and includes more than 3,000 Iowan signatories, notes: “Over the past decade, the surge in production of food-based biofuels has been a disaster for the environment and climate. Increased corn and soy production for ethanol and biodiesel have led to the widespread loss of wildlife habitat, water pollution, and increased climate pollution as native ecosystems in the Midwest and abroad are destroyed for new crop production. These biofuels, which are as dirty as fossil fuels, or worse, have no place in a clean energy economy.”

“We’re seeing a groundswell of grassroots support here in Iowa — it’s clear that concerns about ethanol have been on people’s minds for quite a while,” said Anya Fetcher, lead organizer in Iowa City. “More than 85 people came out to our forum in Iowa City last Wednesday, ready to learn, discuss, and collaborate on this effort. People have been feeling frustrated and helpless, because Big Ag often seems impossible to fight. But the goals of this campaign are tangible and attainable, with a strategy and tactics that people can understand and be a part of. That’s exciting!”

Fifty-six Iowa-based groups also called on the candidates to support energy and land policies that reduce biofuel crop production and shift the state to increased land conservation and clean energy generation.

“We’re calling on the next president to embrace real solutions to climate change, including a reduction in the use of food-based biofuels, an increased focus on truly clean energy, and programs to compensate landowners for providing carbon sinks and natural habitat,” said Garr. “Far from the corn-at-all-costs caricature that Big Ag and the Beltway pundits would have you believe, the voters of Iowa know that smart, responsible climate action is necessary. And they will be looking for someone to lead on this issue.”

For the past three years, Mighty Earth has championed pro-environment reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates increasing biofuel consumption through 2022. In January, Mighty Earth’s activists in Iowa launched a new effort to educate political leaders and policymakers and explain why food-based biofuels are not a viable solution to climate change.