Agricultural and environmental interests may be at odds


Photo by OakleyOriginals; Flickr
Photo by OakleyOriginals; Flickr

Earlier this week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and several other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee met with U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. The aim of the closed-door meeting was to clarify several intersections between environmental regulations and agricultural practices.

However, the meeting failed to resolve tensions between the two interests. Grassley released a statement noting his discontent with the EPA’s efforts, stating that “the meeting did little to alleviate [his] concerns.”

Issues discussed in the meeting included methane emission regulations, the amount of ethanol in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, and U. S. Supreme Court decisions on the 1972 Clean Water Act. EPA officials maintain that agricultural exemptions are still in place, while Republican senators claim that the Agency is overreaching.

Republican committee members had called for the meeting in a May 23 letter.

Iowa House & Senate pass pro-ethanol resolution


Photo by InspiredInDesMoines; Flickr

Both the Iowa house and Senate have passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject its proposed rule which would reduce the amount of ethanol produced in the country.

The resolution passed both the house and senate without a dissenting vote. Continue reading

Iowa Congressmen meet with EPA leader on RFS mandate


Photo via Loebsack office

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad led off his annual Condition of the State address with a call for a coordinated campaign to preserve the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates a certain level of renewable fuel production each year.

On Wednesday, Iowa Democratic U.S. Reps. Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack, and several other members of Congress added their voices of opposition to the reduced mandate in a meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

To learn more, head over to the Des Moines Register.