Leaders of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association are asking supporters to turn out in force and comment on the EPA’s renewable fuel standard volume obligations for 2018.

Association spokeswoman Cassidy Riley says it’s a simple process for people to submit their opinions and the deadline is next month. “We’ve launched a webpage where people can just go on and click to support corn ethanol or support biodiesel or support both and sign our petition to tell EPA to hold strong with the 15-billion gallon statutory level for conventional corn ethanol,” Riley says. “Really, we’re hoping to see that biodiesel number increased.”

The effort needs as many backers as possible as Riley suspects the deep-pocketed petroleum industry will be calling for reductions. “The 15-billion-gallon level for conventional corn ethanol, we’re pretty happy with that but we’re expecting that big oil is going to be fighting to have that number lowered,” Riley says. “On the biodiesel number, 2.1-billion gallons, flat-lining it there is really not acceptable.”

Riley says the current EPA proposal for bio-mass biodiesel at 2.1-billion gallons is too low, given the fact 2.9-billion gallons were produced last year. To submit comments, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website is iowarfa.org.

“There’s a link right on that homepage you can click on or you can go directly to IowaRFA.org/rfs,” Riley says. “You’ll be able to find all of the information about how you can comment and Iowa-produced, homegrown ethanol and biodiesel.” The comment period ends August 31st. Iowa is the nation’s number-one ethanol producer with 43 plants churning out more than four-billion gallons a year, or almost one-third of the nation’s ethanol.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)