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RFS Field Hearing Testimony from Steve Roe from Little Sioux Corn Processors

Full testimony as it was given from Steve Roe during the RFS Field Hearing on June 25, 2015.

I am Steve Roe, General Manager of Little Sioux Corn Processors located in Marcus Iowa.  For those of you not familiar with our great state, Marcus is located in the NW Section of Iowa about 50 miles north and east of Sioux City.  I have never testified in a hearing such as this previously but I thought it was imperative I make my case today because of its importance to our industry and our country.  Little Sioux is a grass roots organization. We have over 800 investors who made an investment in Little Sioux hoping to raise the price of corn and improve the economic well being of their community.  They knew full well the venture carried some risk but they moved forward anyway.  LSCP began production in April 2003 as a40 million gallon annual production plant. We have since expanded twice and are undergoing our third this year. The third expansion will take our capacity beyond 135 million gallons annual production. You may ask why this background, to me it’s pretty simple.  Without the RFS and its mechanism for market access the industry would never have grown this fast which includes Little Sioux.  The affect the law has had on the economic well being of NW Iowa and the country cannot be taken lightly.  When the RFS was passed in 2005 and its revision put into law in 2007, it was touted as a way to energy independence and a path to reduce oil imports. We came under attack by our adversaries and were accused of stealing food from babies. We were accused of raising the price of food to consumers.  All were proven false. Today we have corn prices delivered Iowa at 3.60 per bushel or less. We have more corn world wide than we need. I humbly submit corn prices do not fall or go up because of ethanol. Prices move because the market determines the price, not the ethanol industry or any other industry for that matter.

The EPA has a decision to make on the RFS. It can side with the Oil industry and its inherent  90% mandate by capping the required ethanol inclusion in our gasoline supply at 10% or it can stand up for American jobs, farmers, and clean energy innovation.  With this cap, innovation and investment in our industry will die and the dramatic strides our industry has made in efficiency will skid to a halt.  There has been a tremendous amount of capital invested in transportation services, technical expertise, and other support industries.  Thousands of jobs are at risk and the perceived level of certainty of the law is lost if the EPA continues its present course.  The law was designed to push the barrier. It was not designed to be comfortable for the obligated party. It was designed to allow market access and give the obligated party a mechanism to control their fate in the marketplace. Every gallon of ethanol produced in the United States has a RIn attached to it. The RIN is free, the marketplace creates a value for the RIN but blending over the 10% level does not push RIN values higher, the market does and I humbly submit doesn’t  make gas prices move higher.  Across this country, independent retailers are making the necessary moves to market e-15. You notice I say inpendent operators who are not obligated parties who do not have restrictive contracts prohibiting e-15 under the canopy. Their customers want e-15 and higher blends because of the inherent cost savings and better engine performance that e-15 provides.

Again, I urge the EPA to reconsider.  Basing the RFS on the e-10 blend wall violates the law as it was intended by Congress.  

Thank you for your time today and the opportunity to present my thoughts at this hearing.

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