Nebraska’s Secretary of Agriculture testified about the benefits of ethanol today at a national hearing underway in Iowa about what’s known as the RFS, the renewable fuel standard.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes cutting back the RFS, or how much ethanol is required to be blended with gasoline nationwide.
Secretary Greg Ibach says the corn-based fuel has become a vital segment of the state’s economy.
“In the state of Nebraska, during the course of my tenure with the Department of Agriculture, I’ve been able to witness the explosion of this industry and the explosive growth that this has brought to rural areas of Nebraska.”
The Husker says is now the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, behind only Iowa, with 24 operating plants that generate more than two-billion gallons of ethanol per year.
Ibach says ethanol works hand-in-hand with Nebraska’s other agricultural endeavors.
“We call this interrelationship the golden triangle,” he says. “With a strong corn production sector, a strong livestock feeding sector and a strong ethanol industry, the triangle is structurally sound and has meaningful impact on our rural communities and on the state as a whole.”
Ibach calls the E-P-A proposal to cut back ethanol use “the wrong policy at the wrong time.” He says that decision could put existing and future development in the industry at risk.
Ibach says, “This adulteration of policy without meeting the justifications built into the legislation devalues decades of research and development and creates question marks for our rural communities who have embraced their role in aiding the U.S. energy portfolio.”
Today’s hearing in Des Moines will run all day. Other speakers include Iowa’s governor, several congressmen, representatives from numerous states across the Midwest, and a host of others, from ag industry officials to corn farmers.
AUDIO Full speech with Ibach runs 7:40