Illinois Corn Growers Association President Jim Reed, a family farmer from Monticello, IL, released the following statement today after learning the U.S. Senate again attacked ethanol, the only viable alternative to imported petroleum.
“In a move that allowed politicians to cross ‘reduce the Federal deficit’ off their to-do lists today, Senators added a huge question mark to the average American's household budget.
The Senate passed an amendment that would institute the immediate repeal of the ethanol credit and import tariff, a full six months earlier than Congress had made a handshake agreement on with rural America, leaving a lot more questions than answers. Although the bill to which this anti-ethanol attack is attached will likely never become law, the vote indicates an incredibly surprising willingness of Senators to raise prices at the pump for hundreds of millions in America.
This vote means the Senate has effectively approved bad news. It means they’re okay with lost jobs, although we don't know how many. It means they’re okay with diminished air quality, although we don't know to what degree. It means they’re okay with lost income in rural America, which they like to call fly-over country, although we don't know by how much.
But most regrettably, it means higher gas prices. Where the price of gas will top out at, nobody knows.
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) knew that these decisions left too many uncertainties, and for their no-votes we are thankful.
We certainly look forward to the bi-partisan support of Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk on the Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act, a piece of legislation that demonstrates how responsible citizens and their elected officials can come together in a proactive measure to craft solutions that include opportunity rather than limiting it.”