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Agriculture is the heart of the state of Iowa. Farmers work day and night trying to not just make a profit and support their families, but to feed people all around the world. While we have been working at the state level to pass legislation that encourages growth and attracts more people to our state, there are many external factors that have made this year particularly difficult for our agricultural community.

The requirements set under the Renewable Fuel Standard support a need for Iowa’s corn production, as well as provide a number of jobs and income for our state. The renewable fuels industry was built upon the assumption the demand for ethanol would be consistent. However, the recent issuance of 31 additional waivers to exempt some companies from the requirements puts the long hours and hard work of Iowa’s farmers in jeopardy.

The exemptions are meant for small businesses who would struggle underneath the requirements, but are instead going to large companies, destroying over a billion gallons of renewable fuel demand and the market for millions of bushels of corn. The distribution of these additional waivers and the increase in exceptions for all these refineries only does a disservice to Iowa’s hard-working, middle-class farmers.

Driving across the state, it’s easy to see the large presence of agriculture and how important it is to our economy and everyday life. Ensuring farmers and those involved in the renewable fuels industry are able to benefit from the products of their labor is the correct policy approach.

Join me and tell the EPA to Support a Strong RFS. Call 1-800-223-0425 or email

I can be reached at or (563) 289-7335.

Chris Cournoyer, R-LeClaire, represents District 49 in the Iowa Senate.