Branstad: Washington Hearing Pro-Ethanol Message

Gary Jones, a worker with the University of Iowa Fleet Services, fills a UI rental car with Ethanol 85 (E85) a mixture of 85 percent Ethanol and 15 percent gasoline at the Fleet Services in Iowa City on Thursday, April 29, 2005. 30 percent of UI automobiles will accept E85. Currently there are 16 commercial gas station in Iowa that sell E85. The E85 pump in Iowa City is for UI automobiles only.

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By Richard Pratt

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he feels momentum is with Iowa and other farm states pushing the EPA to reverse a plan to cut the amount of biofuels blended into gasoline this year.

Speaking at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Altoona on Tuesday, Branstad says he's hearing that the industry's efforts are getting the attention of officials in Washington. He continues to build a coalition of state and federal officials from farm states to fight the Environmental Protection Agency's recently announced proposed reduction in the amount of biofuels required to be blended into gasoline this year.

That would hit Iowa hard because it's the nation's leading ethanol maker with 42 plants. The state also is the nation's leading corn producer, which is used to make most ethanol.

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