Upset over a proposal to roll back the Renewable Fuels Standard, 1st District Rep. Tim Walz joined six of his Democratic colleagues in asking President Barack Obama for a meeting to discuss the issue.
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed scaling back a mandate for the production of fuel from renewable sources. Under the proposed rules, the conventional ethanol target would reduce the 2014 statutory target by 1.4 billion gallons. It would also lower the biodiesel target to 1.28 gallons — less than the 1.7 billion the industry is current producing. Walz and his colleagues sent the president a letter on Friday voicing opposition to the rule change and asking for a meeting.
"The proposed RFS volumes threaten to pull the rug out from under our rural economies that are already experiencing a 40 percent decline in the price of corn from last year, the biggest single year drop since 1960," the letter states.
Lawmakers also pointed to the fuel standard as playing "a critical role as an alternative to foreign oil while simultaneously benefiting the U.S. economy and our rural communities."
Joining Walz in writing the letter were two other Minnesota Democrats — Seventh District Rep. Collin Peterson and Eighth District Rep. Rick Nolan. The same group of representatives met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss their opposition to the proposed changes.