Supporters of ethanol are encouraging Iowans to speak out in the final week of the comment period on the proposed new EPA rule that would drastically cut the amount of the corn-based product required to be mixed with gasoline.
Iowa Corn Growers Association president, Roger Zylstra, farms in the Kellogg area. He says anyone who hasn’t spoken out on the issue should try before the deadline. Zylstra says one of the easiest things to do is to go to the Iowan Corngrowers website at www.iowacorn.org and click on the link and leave your comments.
Northeast Iowa corngrower, Mark Recker, says they need the EPA to see the broad impact of ethanol on the state. “We’re encouraging producers to send comments in, but not only that, but anybody involved in the agriculture industry in Iowa that is impacted by this,” Recker says.
Recker, is the chair of the Iowa Corn Usage and Production committee. He farms near Arlington but says you are impacted by ethanol production even if you have no role in growing corn or processing it into the fuel. He says there is a section on the ICGA website just for nonfarmers. ICGA says there have been some 13,000 comments already made to EPA on the issue.
Zylstra notes there’ll also be a public hearing on January 23rd that will address the issue. “It’s sponsored by the Iowa governor and lieutenant governor and we have participants from quite a few midwestern states coming in. And it’s an opportunity to give testimony there also,” Zylstra says. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the federal law that sets the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels required in the U.S.
The new RFS proposed by the EPA would set the amount of ethanol at 13-billion gallons, a drop of over one-billion gallons. The deadline for comments on the proposal is January 28th.