Grassley follows up with EPA, asks for continued dialogue
Senator Chuck Grassley today wrote Environmental Protection Agency officials Gina McCarthy and Margaret Oge following-up on their recent visit to Iowa and asking for continued dialogue as they consider regulations that have a substantial impact on agriculture and biofuels production. McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at EPA, and Oge, Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at EPA joined Grassley in Iowa earlier this month to visit a working family farm and tour Renewable Energy Group's biodiesel facility in Newton.
Senator Grassley has raised concerns about EPA regulations impacting agriculture and biofuels over a long period of time. Grassley invited EPA officials to Iowa after learning that the government official who heads the department writing the guidelines for indirect land use changes had never set foot on an American farm.
Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Oge's recent visit to Iowa offered them a firsthand look at a family farm, a working biofuels production facility and more generally, rural America, Grassley said. EPA has broad jurisdiction over regulations that impact agriculture and biofuels production and the stakes are high. I hope this trip to Iowa laid a solid foundation for continued dialogue and helped put a face on American agriculture.
Here is a copy of the text of Grassley's letters to McCarthy. An identical letter was sent to Oge.
September 14, 2009
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 20460
Dear Assistant Administrator McCarthy:
Thank you for accepting my invitation to visit a family farm in Iowa and for joining me for a full day of presentations and tours on September 3. I'm grateful for the generous amount of time you were able to spend with me in Iowa.
My goal was to help you understand American agriculture from the perspective of a family farmer, and to have a close-up view of exciting and innovative advances in the areas of agriculture and biofuels taking place today. I know all those involved were eager to provide you with a new point of view on a number of issues related to the rulemaking for the RFS 2. It's important that EPA use accurate data when considering factors such as growth in crop yields, energy and fertilizer use in grain production, and the value of co-products in the biofuels production process. There are a number of areas where I believe the EPA's modeling to measure emissions from indirect land use changes falls short of sound science, and I hope your day in Iowa provided insight in those areas.
As I believe was demonstrated on your visit, Iowa's farmers and biofuels producers are committed to using our natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner to produce food, feed and fuel for our nation and the world. It's crucial that you understand as much as you can about the decisions that will be made by the Environmental Protection Agency and the impact those decisions will have on American agriculture and biofuels production.
I encourage you to uphold your commitment to continue the dialogue and remain open to the perspectives provided by farmers and biofuels producers as you consider regulations that have such a profound impact on their daily operations. I welcome you to use me and my office as a resource in this regard.
Thank you again for joining me in Iowa.
Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator
cc:The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson