Corn farmers serving on the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Board joined other farmers today at the U.S. Senate Candidate Forum, a program of the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable in rural McLean County. As you know, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and Senator Mark Kirk are vying for one of our Senate seats in the November elections. Both candidates were given time for opening statements and then took questions from farmers in the audience.
Congresswoman Duckworth spoke first. In her opening remarks, the Congresswoman addresses ethanol.
"A nation that cannot fuel itself is a nation that cannot lead," Duckworth asserted. "To me, the RFS is a no-brainer."
Duckworth reminded the attendees that she engaged EPA to revise their RVO proposal. "I even brought scientists from Argonne and the University of Illinois to the White House (to explain the environmental benefits of ethanol)," she said.
"We have more work to do to counter the oil industry's aggressive campaign," she added. Confirming her commitment on this issue, crediting much of her belief to her time serving in the military, Duckworth concluded, "Biofuels make this country stronger ...make this country a world leader."
Senator Kirk was scheduled to speak second.
In his remarks, the Senator proclaimed, "We cannot regulate our way into wealth."
Related to that is the EPA regulation of the ethanol industry. Kirk said, "I have backed the ethanol industry big time."
"I have voted that way to constantly protect the Renewable Fuel Standard," Kirk added. "We should make more American energy off American agriculture."
NOTE: The Illinois Corn Growers Association does not endorse political candidates.