Lawmakers concerned about E.P.A. proposal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawmakers concerned about E.P.A. proposal

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Iowa leaders are working to keep a major part of the state's economy.

The way renewable fuel is used in the country's oil supply has Iowans on alert.

Governor Kim Reynolds talked with the president over the phone in her office, and the governor says she talked about the importance of renewable fuels.

This comes after the E.P.A. announced plans to lower requirements on how much renewable fuels need to be used by oil refineries, which is something both of Iowa's senators want to make sure doesn't happen.

Republican lawmakers expressed their concern this week to make sure the president lives up to his campaign promise.

Renewable fuel is a big business for many Iowans, and it gives farmers an alternative when producing crops like corn and soybeans.

So, when E.P.A. administrator Scott Pruitt announced plans that would hurt ethanol producers, while helping big oil companies, more than 30 senators contacted the president.

Senator Joni Ernst sat down with Pruitt this week, and said, "Iowa is the largest producer of ethanol and biodiesel in the nation. Our farmers, ranchers and rural communities depend on maintaining a strong RFS."

E.P.A. administrator Scott Pruitt says he won't undermine the Renewable Fuels Standard, but his proposal would cut (cellulosic) ethanol by nearly 25 percent.

State leaders on both sides, democrat and republican, say they're concerned about that proposal.

"But, we did get a commitment from them to work with us, and I hope we're successful in the end of turning this very detrimental actions on the part of the EPA, both from the standpoint of agriculture, the environment, and good-paying jobs in rural America. But, it's also a departure of the President keeping his campaign promise," (R) Senator Chuck Grassley said.

Governor Kim Reynolds says her phone conversation with President Trump went well, and she reminded Iowans that lawmakers will be holding the president and E.P.A. accountable.

"They made a commitment to RFS and renewable fuels, and especially with the volatile agriculture economy we're dealing with right now this would have a devastating impact, not only on Iowa farmers, but on rural America," Governor Reynolds said.

Governor Reynolds says she plans to have another conversation with the president next week in Washington, D.C.
 

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