There are events springing up around the Midwest to rally consumers into helping support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Some of the leaders of this movement are state legislators including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad along with Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds have launched a new website in an effort to counter the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed reduction of 2014 blending requirements. The site, ProtectTheRFS.com, collects comments from citizens about the proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard and sends them to the EPA.
“Why the Obama administration would side with the big oil companies over Iowa’s homegrown renewable fuels is baffling,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. “The EPA has turned its back on rural America, and our economy and family farms will suffer as a result. Corn prices have already dropped to the cost of production, and this will likely further squeeze corn producers and negatively impact income growth in rural America. We have more than 50 ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa, and these EPA reductions would negatively impact thousands of Iowa jobs. This debate isn’t over. I will lock arms with our agricultural groups, our family farmers, leaders from both parties, and Iowans in fighting for Iowa’s homegrown, reliable, and safe renewable fuels. I encourage Iowans to officially comment to the EPA.”
The Iowa RFS Coalition will host a “Defend the RFS” event at Lincolnway Energy to highlight the negative impact of EPA’s proposal to radically reduce Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels for 2014. The event takes place on Friday, November 22, 2013 from 1-2 pm at Lincolnway Energy in Nevada, Iowa.
Part of the EPA’s proposed 2014 rules would lower the conventional renewable fuel requirement from the statutory level of 14.4 billion gallons (BG) to 13.01 billion gallons. This change would decrease refiner and blender purchases of ethanol by $2.1 – $3.6 billion and would increase Big Oil revenues by the same amount. This, which petroleum supporters call a minor decrease, would have a significantly negative impact on the ethanol industry, agriculture and local communities.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, immediately voiced her disapproval after EPA official released is proposed rule. “Today’s proposal from the EPA to reduce the amount of renewable fuels defies common sense. Not only would this proposal hurt Illinois farmers, rural communities and our state’s economy, but it could also drive up prices at the gas pump and increase our dependence on foreign sources of oil. I’ll continue fighting for the health of our region’s economy and to keep our country safer and more secure by standing with both Democrats and Republicans in opposing this insensible proposal.”
Patriot Renewable Fuels, an ethanol plant based in Annawan, Illinois is also taking action. On Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Congresswoman Bustos will show her support by visiting Patriot for a roundtable discussion and tour.
Patriot is encouraging the industry as well as consumers to show their support as well by contacting legislators and let them know you are against this proposal. In addition, people can voice their opinion to the White House.