Source: KMA Land

By Mike Peterson

(Washington) -- The Environmental Protection Agency announced this past week it would soon issue renewable fuel standards through 2016.

June 1st is the deadline announced by EPA officials for issuing those long-awaited standards for renewable fuels, including ethanol. But in a recent conference call with reporters, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst indicated it wasn't soon enough for ethanol producers, and the state in general.

"Farmers and the entire renewable fuel sector in Iowa," said Ernst, "need a strong and long term RFS to conduct and grow their businesses. While I'm thankful to finally see a path forward on RFS, it is unacceptable the EPA has failed to act for so long."

The Red Oak Republican says the EPA must--quote--"get the RFS right," and not decrease renewable fuel levels that would negatively impact consumer choice, and Iowa's critical ethanol and biodiesel industry.

"Iowa, of course, is a leader in renewable fuels," she said, "and I will continue to push the EPA to issue strong renewable fuel standards which encourage investment and innovation."

In February, the freshman senator invited EPA Director Gina McCarthy to visit Iowa and some of its ethanol plants. She says McCarthy has yet to respond.

"It is absolutely critical that the EPA fully understands the impact that regulatory actions are having on everyday Iowans," said Ernst. "And believe me, with this invitation, we have heard from a number of manufacturing businesses--ethanol plants, biodiesel plants--and from our individual growers. They would love to host administrator McCarthy in their farms, and on their farms, in their plants--they would love to show her all of the great things we've got going on in Iowa."

Ernst says the offer to McCarthy still stands.

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