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Renewable Fuel Standards impact on Iowa

IOWA — Every year, federal law says the country needs to blend 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the nations fuel supply. But recently that hasn’...

IOWA — Every year, federal law says the country needs to blend 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the nations fuel supply.

But recently that hasn’t been happening, which is hurting Iowa’s economy.

R.F.S. Three letters you’ve heard a lot about recently.

It stands for Renewable Fuel Standards.

This week, Iowans made their case to the EPA on why they should start following these standards.

Iowa made it’s case to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a hearing Wednesday about the agency’s proposed renewable fuel standards rule.

“I got a sense that folks were very uniformally upset with the EPA for not hitting the mark so to speak when it comes to delivering on the deal that the president announced a couple of weeks ago,” Iowa Dept. of Agriculture’s Sec. Mike Naig said.

Without the full 15 billion gallons guaranteed, agriculture experts say the renewable fuel market is in jeopardy.

“We’ve got four renewable fuels plants in this state that have shut down. We’ve got dialed back their production. You’ve got layoffs that are impacting hundreds of families,” Naig said.

It’s not just farmers that this could hurt by this decision, it’s the whole state.

“This means jobs for Iowans. This means jobs in some of our rural communities. Often times an ethanol plant in one of our small communities might be one of the largest employers in that region,” Naig said.

Iowa is calling on the Trump administration to stand by their original agreement and guarantee 15 billion gallons will mean 15 billion gallons.

“I think it is going to be important for the White House to get directly involved in this as well and that’s what it perhaps will take here in the next month to get that,” Naig said.

For the next 30 days, the EPA is accepting public comments on their proposed renewable fuel standards rule.