CHESTERFIELD, MISSOURI, U.S. — The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) on Nov. 9 expressed disappointment that members of U.S. Congress from corn-producing states have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the volume of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.
“I’m disappointed to see members of Congress turn their back on farmers and rural communities,” said Wesley Spurlock, first vice-president of the National Corn Growers and a farmer from Stratford, Texas, U.S.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard has been one of the most successful energy policies ever enacted,” said Spurlock. “The RFS works. It has reduced our dependence on foreign oil. It has made the rural economy stronger. And it has been better for the environment. It’s puzzling that these Representatives would not want to support it.”
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy dated Nov. 4, House members asked the EPA to reduce the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO), the amount of biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply – despite the fact that doing so would violate congressional statute. Electronic document properties have since revealed that the letter was drafted by an oil industry lobbyist, as reported by Bloomberg News.
“This letter has Big Oil’s fingerprints all over it,” said Spurlock. “The letter includes false attacks on ethanol that have been disproven time and again. The blend wall is a false construct. We have known from the beginning that eventually we would need higher blends of ethanol to meet the statutory requirements. That was the point: to replace fossil fuels with renewables. The oil industry doesn’t want to hear that. That’s why they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to repeal the RFS, even to the point of having their lobbyists write this letter.”
Spurlock called on farmers, employees of the renewable fuels industry, and rural community leaders to contact their elected officials and make their voices heard.
“Ethanol is the backbone of the rural economy, and the elected officials who represent these communities need to hear from us. It’s up to us to tell them this is unacceptable and hold them accountable. Corn farmers are doing their part to feed and fuel America. It’s time for Congress to do their part and stand up for energy independence, clean air, and strong rural communities.”