One day after a pro-ethanol hearing in Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad told members of the state’s Partnership for Economic Partnership (PEP) board he was “a little more encouraged” that federal Environmental Protection Agency could modify or rescind its proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The agency’s RFS proposal would lower the mandate to 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels, with 13.01 billion gallons from conventional ethanol and 2.2 billion gallons from advanced biofuels. Previous RFS requirements passed by Congress called for 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels next year, with 14.4 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and 3.75 billion gallons of advanced biofuels. “It looked like an uphill battle when they came out with the proposed rule,” said Branstad, who joined in a bipartisan Midwestern concern the an RFS roll back would hurt rural jobs, investments and the environment while increasing America’s reliance on foreign oil. On a related note, Iowa Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley joined five other U.S. House members in calling for a meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the revised federal renewable fuels volume obligations.