A huge turnout is expected Thursday at a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations for 2014. Literally busloads of stakeholders, both opposed to and in favor of cutting the requirements, are attending the hearing at the Hyatt in Crystal City, Virginia.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will be attending with several Iowa livestock producers, farmers and renewable fuels leaders. Branstad fears the EPA proposal could lead to another farm crisis. “I was governor during the farm crisis of the ‘80s when land values dropped 63 percent,” he said during a conference call on Wednesday. “I know what can happen when you have an agriculture depression, and we don’t want to go back and revisit that.” Comments on RFS Proposal Negative Impacts
Also attending the hearing will be corn farmers from a dozen other states in addition to Iowa. “It’s great to see so many people willing to leave their farms at this time of year for an important opportunity to give the EPA a piece of their mind,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling of Maryland.
National Turkey Federation president Joel Brandenberger will testify in favor of reducing biofuels requirements under the RFS citing “the forced diversion of corn to ethanol that reduced the available share of the feed supply for poultry and livestock from 55 percent to just less than 41 percent of the corn supply, causing market volatility and higher feed prices.” The turkey producers and the National Chicken Council will continue to work toward legislation in Congress to reform or repeal the RFS.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am Eastern time and “end when all parties present who wish to speak have had the opportunity to do so.” Domestic Fuel/AgWired reporter John Davis will be there to provide coverage here.