EPA plan to lower the ethanol mandate worries backers of new Nor - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

EPA plan to lower the ethanol mandate worries backers of new Northwest Iowa plant

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EMMETSBURG, Iowa (KTIV) As Poet-DSM gets set to put their plant online, they're facing a harsh reality out of Washington.

The EPA has suggested lowering the subsidy ethanol companies have come to depend on to compete with oil companies.

The Renewable Fuels Standard required a certain amount of ethanol be used in American fuel.

Poet's spokesperson says they sped up their timeline on the project after Congress expanded the mandate in 2007.

He also said it was one of the main factors that attracted the Dutch company, DSM, to invest in Project Liberty.

While the direct impact of lowering the standard will be on traditional grain ethanol, Poet-DSM says it will have a domino effect on the company as it tries to sell its cellulosic technology to other ethanol plants.

"We really we need to make sure that the grain ethanol industry remains robust, remains strong, so that those grain ethanol producers can also invest in this technology,” said Matt Merritt, Poet-DSM Spokesperson.

Merritt added that the grain ethanol plant and new cellulosic plant share a staff, a network of farmers, and rail, adding to the impact of a lower ethanol demand.

The EPA is considering an eight-percent decrease in the biofuels blending mandate in 2014.

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