Iowans fighting EPA proposal on corn-based ethanol - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowans fighting EPA proposal on corn-based ethanol

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A  proposal from the environmental protection agency to cut the amount of corn-based ethanol required to be blended into fuel has some people in Iowa concerned.

Jim Lind's service station offers all different levels of fuel blended with corn-based ethanol -- which includes "E85, E40, E24, E15, E10," said Lind. 

Lind says he has an eye on the EPA, which last year proposed to cut the renewable fuel standard, or how much ethanol or biodiesel needs to be mixed with gasoline.

It's a decision Lind says could affect what customers pay at the pump.

"Now there is a possibility that it could raise prices because of the EPA action, and of course that's not good for me or good for anybody because we all have our cars to fill," said Lind. 

Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey toured Lind's business Tuesday along with other places, to highlight Iowa's renewable fuels industry.

"I would also say that good for consumers have more ethanol available as well. Ethanol is less expensive than gasoline to be able to have a greater supply is important but to be able to have higher blends is important as well because it cheapens up the gasoline that we use for our vehicles," said Northey.

He's also concerned the impact the proposal could have on farmers. Northey believes Iowa's strong economy is in part to Iowa's strong agriculture industry.

He believes the EPA recommendation will impact that now, and especially down the road.

"Love to see higher amounts being used, so E15, E85, and I think there's an opportunity to grow that," said Northey. "It'd certainly grow faster if you had a RFS that would encourage that growth."

Northey says biodiesel use will certainly decrease if the proposal goes through.

He is suggesting Iowans offer their opinion. The EPA is accepting public comments until Jan. 28.

Gov. Terry Branstad will be hosting a public meeting on the EPA's proposal in Des Moines on Thursday.

Northey says it will give people an opportunity to speak up about the issue.

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