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HANLONTOWN, IA – some say it’s legislation that helps the economy, kept farmers from recession, and has boosted the entire biofuels industry.
Others say it’s pushing up food prices.
Either way the renewable fuel standard is getting another look from our nation’s leaders.
Pam Johnson is the president of the National Corn Growers Association and has a farm in Floyd.
She testified at the request of Representative Bruce Braley.
What happened Wednesday was an exploratory hearing that is reviewing the renewable fuel standard, or, the rules that say how much renewable fuel should be mixed with gasoline.
And Pam says; it’s crucial to the economy overall.
Johnson is testifying to a committee at the nation’s capitol today to explain just how the renewable fuel standard has benefitted the corn-growing industry. She says,
“The RFS is a critical piece of our nation’s energy policy it has created jobs, lessened our dependence on foreign oil and improved the environmental footprint of our nation’s transportation fuels.”
The standard has been in place since it passed in Washington in 2006.
Which is why the hearing is taking place to review and assess the current standard.
People like Kelly Hansen know just how important the standard is to his industry.
“It has provided a platform for the ethanol industry to be able to be part of our fuel supply,” he says.
Besides giving consumers another fuel option…it also happens to be a cheaper one that’s because ethanol blended fuels cost less than gasoline.
And in addition to saving people money, Hansen says it creates jobs.
“It really does need to stay in place, it supports jobs that cannot be out sourced which is an important aspect.”
Both agree, without the standard things wouldn’t look so good for rural America.
The RFS required that 9-billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended with gasoline in 2008.
That number is supposed to 36-billiongallons a decade from now.
But in order for anything to change with the RFS a resolution would have to pass in the Senate and the House.
And if that happens, it probably will take some time.
Critics of the RFS also testified, they argued that the standard was causing food prices to climb, because there is less corn to use in their industries.