Over 140 stakeholders testified at a hearing Thursday on the Environmental Protection Agency proposal to lower the biofuels targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2014, and those opposed to the plan outnumbered those in favor by a ratio of more than two to one.
“More than 100 of the 144 speakers support #ethanol, #biodiesel & advanced biofuels,” tweeted Renewable Fuels Association (RFS) president Bob Dinneen. “Don’t mess w/ the RFS!” Bob Dinneen testimony at EPA hearing
The hearing, which lasted 12 hours, included livestock producers from Iowa who testified against lowered the RFS requirements. Among those testifying in favor of the proposal was National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) past president and Illinois farmer and rancher Steve Foglesong.
“I am a corn farmer, I just choose to feed it to cattle, it’s value added,” said Foglesong. “It’s not that different from the ethanol industry who takes corn to feed it into their plants and produce ethanol, dried distillers grains (DDGs), and carbon dioxide instead of beef. The process is identical, all but the RFS mandate, which gives the ethanol industry an advantage in purchasing corn. We’re not opposed to corn ethanol, but it’s time to look at reforming the RFS and let the market pick winners and losers instead of the government.”
The National Corn Growers Association had dozens of witnesses from around the country, but one of their best advocates was a young man with no ties to either side. “Coolest witness of the day at #RFS hearing: college student from Michigan drove in with E85 to testify!” tweeted NCGA. “He uses E10 in his lawn mower.”
All of those who testified at the hearing Thursday submitted written comments to the EPA regarding the RFS plan for 2014. Comments will be accepted until Jan. 28.