Iowa leaders invite federal officials to host RFS hearing

By Erin Voegele | December 17, 2013

Elected officials in Iowa are urging the federal government to host a hearing on the renewable fuels standard (RFS) in Iowa, giving government leaders the opportunity to hear directly from Midwesterners on how the proposed 2014 RFS requirements would negatively impact the agricultural, agri-business and biofuel industries.

In the letter, the Iowa officials express their opposition to the proposed rule for the 2014 RFS and note that while many individuals were able to attend the EPA’s hearing on the RFS earlier this month, many more Midwestern farmers, business leaders and citizens who would like to weigh in on proposal were unable to attend.

“A reduction in the RFS will disproportionately affect rural American and will leave thousands unemployed,” said the officials in the letter. “Weakening the RFS would increase prices at the pump and negatively impact air quality across the country. We believe the hard-working men and women in Iowa and across the Midwest deserve the opportunity to make the case at a hearing in the Heartland.”

The letter requests that the EPA, in conjunction with the White House Rural Council, host the hearing. The letter also invites President Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administration Gina McCarthy to participate in the hearing and tour Iowa biofuel plants.

The letter was signed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad; Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds; Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey; Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa; Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa; and Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa.