AGRIBUSINESS: Iowa Senator spearheads opposition to RFS changes

Two U.S. Senators, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, are spearheading the Senate effort opposing EPA’s proposal to cut renewable fuel production this year by 16 percent.

“Senator Durbin and I are leading a bipartisan effort to voice Senate opposition to this proposed change in the RFS mandate,” Grassley explains.  “We’re circulating a letter to the administration, and expect to have a large number of Senators sign on of both political parties.”

The EPA comment period closes next Tuesday, January 28, though Grassley says if Administrator Gina McCarthy extends it, such an extension would signal she’s considering a way to satisfy all parties.  Ultimately, Grassley thinks the decision will rest with the President.

“The White House is going to have to step in, I think is what it’s going to take in the final analysis.  But if [President Obama] doesn’t step in, this is a big win for big oil, and I can’t see the President wanting, since he’s been on Big Oil, wanting to tax them more, not drilling on public land, I would think he wouldn’t want to give big oil a big victory, but that’s what he’s going to do.”

On Thursday in Des Moines, Grassley says Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will convene an RFS hearing; something EPA was asked to do, but declined.