Friday Afternoon News, June 26
Plymouth Energy Chairman Testifies At EPA Hearing On Renewable Fuels
(Kansas City) -- The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on Thursday regarding the renewable fuels standard. The E-P-A has proposed lowering the amount of ethanol and biodiesel to be produced annually, and going against the level that was stipulated by Congress. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey both testified at that hearing on behalf of the renewable fuels industry.
Another person that testified was John Becker. Becker is a former manager of the Farmers Cooperative in Craig, and now the current chairman of the board for Plymouth Energy, the ethanol manufacturer based at Merrill. Becker says the attending audience at the hearing was by far in favor of the renewable fuels industry.
Becker says the attending EPA officials were listening and attentative to the comments of the witnesses. He wonders though, if those messages shared on Thursday will reach the top decision makers within the Environmental Protection Agency. Becker is complimentary of Governor Branstad and Secretary Northey for their positive stance on renewable fuels.
Several Hundred People Visit Dairy Farm's Open House Farm Tour
(Maurice) -- Several hundred people attended an open house farm tour last evening at the Dykstra Dairy of Maurice. Darin Dykstra is a co-owner of the dairy farm. He says he allows the tour to let people know what happens on a dairy farm.
The dairy producer says it is important for those making a living off the farm to tell their story.
Catholic Bishops Express Disappointment On Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Same Sex Marriages
(Des Moines) -- Iowa's four Catholic bishops say they are saddened by a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country.
In a statement released Friday soon after the court issued its decision, the bishops expressed sadness and noted, "To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion."
The bishops say they will lead people to live under the gospels and quoted the passage: "One man and one woman who freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, to be helpmates for each other, and to be open to conceiving and bringing up children."
The statement was signed by the archbishop of Dubuque and the bishops of Davenport, Des Moines and Sioux City.
Former Iowa Supreme Court Judge Not Surprised By Same-Sex Ruling
(Des Moines) -- Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Baker says he's not surprised the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed same-sex marriage on constitutional equal protection grounds.
Baker was among the seven Iowa Supreme Court justices to rule unanimously in 2009 that an Iowa law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. He lost his job along with Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justice Michael Streit the following year when they failed to get enough votes in a judicial retention election. It was the result of an effort to defeat them by gay marriage opponents who spent millions of dollars on advertising.
The Iowa court's decision made Iowa only the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Baker says the decision raised awareness of the issue because Iowa, not viewed as a strong liberal state, found gay marriage to be constitutionally guaranteed.
He says with the change in public opinion - 37 states have declared same-sex marriage legal - the court has ratified what was eventually going to happen anyway.