A wave of farmers, business owners and renewable fuels supporters made the trek to Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday to take a stand against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to slash the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and cut the amount of ethanol blended in gasoline.
“Hearing in the Heartland” was organized by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstadt after EPA refused to hold a public hearing on its RFS proposal in Iowa, the largest ethanol producing state in the U.S.
“I was governor of Iowa during the farm crisis of the 1980s — a time which brought incredible hardship to farm families and rural communities. I will never, ever, forget the challenges endured during those times — and the last thing that we ever want to see again in our nation is another farm crisis,” Branstad said.
“We don’t want to go back to those bad old days,” he added.
Minnesota was well-represented at the event by staff from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Clarks Grove farmer Brad Nelson and others. Nelson, Frederickson and Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Poster provided testimony.
Pam Johnson, past president of the National Corn Growers Association, also testified.
“In the past, the RFS had provided some certainty that there will be a viable commodity market—but EPA’s proposed rule eliminates this certainty,” she explained. “We ask that the EPA stay the course and support the RFS and reconsider the proposed reductions of the 2014 renewable volume obligations.”
EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal to slash the RFS until Jan. 28. If you haven’t done so yet, make your voice heard and tell EPA “Don’t mess with the RFS” by clicking here.