Iowa lawmakers reinforce fight for renewable fuels

ethanol plant

There’s a fight for a measurement that fuels the cornbelt economy.

Iowa lawmakers are teaming up to maintain current levels of ethanol in fuel products. It’s the  Renewable Fuels Standard.

The EPA wants to cut the amount of ethanol in gas and biodiesel fuel. That’s prompting concern from the combine and beyond.

“It’s just been a great thing for Iowa,” said Sen. Chris Brase, (D) Muscatine. “And that reduction will obviously hurt Iowa.”

Iowa’s massive corn harvest helps to create renewable fuels. It’s big business.

“It’s a big deal,” said Rep. Jim Lykam, (D) Davenport.

But proposed cuts could send the program sputtering out of gas.

“You start shutting those (plants) down, and there’s a lot of good-paying jobs that the state loses,” Rep. Lykam continued.

Reasons why this issue is a big deal for the cornbelt. It’s attracting bipartisan attention and support. Thursday’s Hearing in the Heartland issued a warning about stepping back.

“It’s our economy,” said Rep. Linda Miller, (R) Bettendorf.

That concern is spreading from Iowa. There are worries about losing some 45,000 jobs across the country. Jobs that literally fuel the economy.

Republicans and Democrats tout ethanol for creating jobs, reducing dependency on foreign oil and even clearing the air. It’s a regional issue with national impact.

“The federal government needs to understand that it is important to a lot of different states,” said Rep. Cindy Winckler, (D) Davenport.

There’s still time for the feds to take a second look. Iowa lawmakers hope their united approach will pay dividends.

“I hope they look at the fact that we actually work together and form a consensus,” said Rep. Miller. “And it is good for America.”