Biofuel Groups Hosting ‘Rally for Rural America’ During RFS Hearing

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS   • Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A handful of biofuel groups are hosting a “Rally for Rural America” during EPA’s public hearing next week in Kansas City, Kan., on its proposed 2014-2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) rule, OPIS has confirmed.

“There is going to be a huge presence” at the June 25 public hearing, a source familiar with the rally explained. As OPIS reported Thursday evening, at least 262 people have signed up to testify at the hearing.

A lot of pro-biofuel supporters will be traveling to the hearing, the source said, “but realistically, the three minutes each that EPA is giving them to testify is not a huge amount of bang for their buck.” Therefore, “we want to show our presence outside of the hearing and to allow supporters to continue voicing their concerns,” the source said.

“The idea is that, with a small [EPA] hearing room, not everybody’s going to be able to testify,” said a second source familiar with the rally. “We want to have as big of a presence to show we’re here, we’re angry … and mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. We want to give people an opportunity to be part of the process,” the source continued.

EPA is proposing to scale back conventional biofuel targets to account for concern surrounding the ethanol blendwall, while calling for a greater amount of second-generation biofuels.

While the details for the noon CT rally location are still being finalized, it will be held nearby the hearing, at the Jack Reardon Center. The groups involved in the rally include the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and Fuels America, several other sources have confirmed.

Earlier this week, NCGA posted preliminary information about the rally on its website. “Join farmers, workers and small business owners from across the Midwest as we stand up for America’s rural communities and clean energy future. Held in conjunction with the EPA field hearing on the RFS, the Rally for Rural America will be a powerful demonstration of the importance of our country’s rural communities to our economy, national security and way of life,” it noted.

Additionally, NCGA is also offering free bus transportation to the hearing from a handful of locations, near ethanol production plants in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.