Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to hold a public hearing in Iowa over the agency’s proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. It’s feared those changes could hurt the ethanol industry and Iowa is the nation’s top ethanol producer.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he hopes the EPA takes the request for a hearing in Iowa seriously. “They’re going to say they’re in Kansas City but Iowa, anyplace in Iowa, is the center of ethanol production and that’s where they should be,” Grassley says. “Why they aren’t, I don’t know.”
A letter sent to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy iss signed by all six members of Iowa’s congressional delegation. Members say the decision to drop RFS levels set by Congress has left the biofuels industry in an uncertain situation which has slowed investment.
Grassley says it’s important for the agency’s leaders to fully understand the impact of their rulemaking. “It’s to embarrass them into understanding why avoid Iowa?,” Grassley says. “It’s going to embarrass them to come where the information is, make it easier for those that are in the middle of ethanol production and things of that nature. It’s that simple.”
Iowa has 42 ethanol plants in operation, producing nearly three-point-eight billion gallons a year, about 25 percent of all ethanol produced nationwide. Iowa plants also produced 230 million gallons of biodiesel in 2013.
Letter sent to EPA: RFS Joint Delegation Letter PDF