Illinois corn farmers were among hundreds in Kansas City this week reminding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of their obligation to support corn-based ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply as directed by Congress in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
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Just a block away from the Rally for Rural America where Midwestern farmers gathered to support corn-based ethanol, Illinois Corn Growers Association President Kenneth Hartman, Jr. and Vice-President Jeff Jarboe testified to EPA that the Agency must adhere to the statutory requirements for conventional biofuels.
In his testimony, Hartman asked the EPA panel, “What are you thinking and where is your authority?”
“You have violated the intent of Congress and the RFS II by protecting oil’s monopoly on the gasoline market by reducing the volume numbers of a fuel that is cheaper, cleaner, and more valuable. EPA is definitely picking a winner, siding with big oil as the winner over farmers and consumers,” Hartman continued in his testimony.
To start the hearing, EPA representatives stated that they believe they have the authority to ignore the Congressional intent written in the RFS. ICGA believes EPA’s actions are unsupported and in direct opposition to law.
“The Illinois Corn Growers Association opposes the Administration’s proposed conventional biofuels volume numbers for 2014, 2015, and 2016. We suggest that there is adequate supply of corn feed stocks and conventional ethanol to fulfill the RFS II requirements for conventional biofuels for 2014, 2015, and 2016. If this rule is finalized as proposed we believe it violates the statutory responsibility of USEPA and the intent of Congress,” Jarboe testified.
ICGA is investigating additional opportunities to hold EPA accountable to their legal obligations.
“Corn farmers across our nation stepped up, invested in new genetics and traits, enhanced our sustainability, improved on-farm infrastructure, and delivered the corn crop that we said we could for the purposes of enhancing our nation’s air quality and improving lives. We managed our part of the bargain. It’s high time you did yours,” Jarboe told the EPA representatives at the hearing.
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