Speaking at Growth Energy’s annual leadership conference – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he has reached out to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and White House officials to stress the importance of the ethanol industry. In November – EPA issued a proposal to lower the RFS requirement for 2014. Vilsack said he’s asked McCarthy to carefully review the 15-thousand comments submitted on the proposal – many of which point to the many benefits of corn-based ethanol.
Vilsack told conference goers that he doesn’t know what the decision will be. But he said it’s absolutely mandatory that the industry survives and continues to expand. Vilsack noted USDA has several programs to assist renewable energy producers and feedstock suppliers in marketing their products and in advancing technologies to produce new ones.