In a joint statement released this yesterday, leaders of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association addressed an anti-ethanol ad that is running on television stations in Illinois. They called the effort a “smear campaign” that is “heavy on rhetoric and short on facts.” In just about 10 days we expect the EPA to release their final rules on the ethanol RVO numbers. There is no doubt that Big Oil is behind the effort. Illinois Corn is on top of it and addressing the issue with the media. We appreciate IFB and IRFA supporting the issue, as well. The joint statement represents the united front of Illinois agriculture.
Kenneth Harman, Jr., Illinois Corn Growers Association President; Richard Guebert, Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau President; and Raymond E. Defenbaugh, Illinois Renewable Fuels Association President issued the following joint statement today regarding the anti-ethanol campaign currently underway in Illinois.
“The anti-ethanol smear campaign currently underway in Illinois is heavy on rhetoric and short on facts. The timing is suspicious, as we’re just about ten days away from the deadline that requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s release of its final rule making on the Renewable Fuel Standard RVO requirement. Such a desperate, expensive spend on advertising reflects the precarious position of Big Oil. They don’t have a leg to stand on.
“We know that the Renewable Fuel Standard has been one of the most successful energy policies ever enacted. It has rejuvenated rural economies, created jobs nationwide, and lowered prices at the pump, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“EPA recognizes that corn ethanol provides a significant reduction in greenhouse gasses. In fact, global ethanol production and use is estimated to reduce those emissions by 100 million metric tons. That’s like taking 20 million vehicles off the road. U.S. ethanol production each year displaces the gasoline equivalent of 512 million barrels of crude oil. That’s more than we import annually from Saudi Arabia.
“The science is clear. So should be the choice. Supporting the RFS is the right thing to do for all of us. We certainly hope that as President Obama heads to the Paris climate talks that he has not handed a victory to oil interests. We stand ready to help the President lead by example in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."