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State

Ethanol advocates join for hearing

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says federal authorities must use “common sense” and reconsider a proposed reduction in the amount of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline.

Branstad kicked off a daylong hearing in Des Moines on Thursday about the issue. Other supporters of ethanol production are scheduled to speak, including U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham, and industry representatives from several Midwestern states.

Last week, legislators in the Iowa House and state Senate approved resolutions supporting the existing fuel standards. They are reacting to a recent EPA proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline in 2014.

Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn. Iowa leaders claim the EPA’s proposal would devastate Iowa’s economy.

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