Midwest Senators Sponsor Ethanol Amendments

Cindy Zimmerman

Iowa’s two senators and others from the Midwest are co-sponsoring amendments to legislation that funds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which would address two important issues facing the ethanol industry.

Iowa Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), along with Ben Nelson (D-NE) introduced an amendment to the Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations bill that would prevent the EPA from going ahead with regulations that would limit the production and use of biofuels required by Congress’ 2007 energy bill. The proposed amendment would prohibit the EPA, for one year, from spending funds to include international indirect land use change emissions in the implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

In addition, Grassley is working with Senator Nelson on an amendment that would require EPA to approve an increase in ethanol blend levels from 10 percent to 15 percent. “I still believe that the best way for this matter to be resolved is for the EPA to review the science and approve the higher blend,” said Grassley. “But the EPA needs to know that we’re watching the all-too-lengthy deliberating process that they seem to be going through, and of course their lack of action in this area. And it’s time for them, I think, to move forward.”‘

Debate on the appropriations bill began today on the Senate floor but neither amendment was brought to a vote.

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