Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds are leading a public hearing this morning in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The hearing is being held just a few days before the comment period on EPA’s proposal to reduce volume obligation requirements for 2014 in the RFS ends on Tuesday, January 28. The hearing is being held to give Midwesterners a chance to voice their concerns about the EPA proposal. The hearing at the Hall of Laureates, Des Moines, IA, was scheduled after the White House, the EPA and USDA Secretary Vilsack declined the invitation to host a hearing on the RFS in the Midwest, Governor Branstad’s office reported.
“We believe it is necessary to host this public hearing for Iowans and other Midwesterners to enable them to more easily provide comments on the EPA’s proposal, which could cost nearly 45,000 jobs, have a negative ripple effect through the U.S. economy and hinder consumer choice at the pump,” Governor Branstad stated in prepared remarks.
“Too often, agencies in Washington, DC, make decisions that affect the livelihoods of people in the rest of the country without hearing directly from those involved . . . The grass roots ought to be heard here and any time policy changes are under way that have implications on areas from local economies to national energy security,” added Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Representatives from several organizations are attending the hearing today, including the National Corn Growers Association and various state corn growers associations; state departments of agriculture (Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota and South Dakota); numerous ethanol producers; and others.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit formal comments to the EPA by the January 28 deadline. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), for one, has set up a digital RFS action center where supporters can share their comments about the importance of the RFS. Visit http://capwiz.com/ethanol . ACE reports that more than 10,000 comments already have been submitted to EPA. However, every comment counts. Make your voice heard.
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