Organizations are still reacting to the letter sent by 184 Congressman, including some for top corn producing states, calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the volumes of corn-based ethanol blended into America’s fuel supply as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA has sent their final rule drafts to the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) and the rules are expected to be released by November 30, 2015.
“The RFS has been an unqualified success since its passage in 2005,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), in a letter to President Obama. “Wavering from our commitment to the RFS would be a grave mistake for both America’s family farmers and this nation as a whole. We urge you to reject Big Oil’s talking points and stay the course on the RFS.”
Last week NFU released the results of a poll that showed that released a poll that showed popularity and support for political candidates that support the Renewable Fuel Standard within a majority of rural congressional districts in which the poll was conducted.
Johnson stressed in the letter that the RFS has boosted incomes for family farmers while making strides in mitigating climate change through the use of biofuels. He noted that climate change is a threat to both farmers’ operatons and, in turn, the nation’s food security.
“The RFS has helped family farmers and the nation make tangible steps toward mitigating our impact on climate change by driving the U.S. to make real reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “Corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 34 percent, and more substantial gains can be made through new types of biofuels.”
Johnson noted that, unfortunately, most popular public policies face a small but vocal group of critics, and the RFS is no different.
“Earlier this month, a minority of House members sent a letter requesting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) curb the growth of this promising industry by backing off volume targets set forth in the statute,” said Johnson. “These members are reversing themselves by asking for less ethanol production than was signed into law by President Bush.”
“We deeply appreciate your administration’s demonstrated commitment to mitigating climate change for the sake of domestic and global food security among other things. On behalf of America’s family farmers, we ask you to stay the course on the RFS, maintaining your commitment to biofuels and to fully implementing the statutory volume targets laid out in the law.”