Farmers from around the country are heading to Washington, D.C. today in defense of the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard). Hundreds of biofuel and agricultural supporters are descending on DC in for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hearing on the 2014 RFS proposed rules that across the board lower the renewable fuel volumes for next year.
The National Corn Growers Association says by cutting the amount of corn ethanol required by 10 percent it will affect corn prices and rural economies. Farmers plans to tell EPA their personal stories of what such an action would reap across rural America.
More than 30 corn farmers and their allies from around the country are attending the hearing including growers from 13 states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
“It’s great to see so many people willing to leave their farms at this time of year for an important opportunity to give the EPA a piece of their mind,” said NCGA First Vice President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn grower scheduled to speak at the hearing. “This has already had a negative effect on our farms, and if the EPA gets its way, it could cause serious harm to the rural economy – not to mention cutting the environmental benefits of domestic, renewable ethanol.”
For 2014, the EPA has proposed a 1.4 billion gallon reduction in how much corn ethanol will be required under the RFS, the federal law that requires the blending of domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning corn ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply. Because of the record crop, growers are already seeing corn prices falling below the cost of production, and due to the planting cycle are having to buy inputs such as fertilizer, seed and fuel at much higher prices, Bowling said.
NCGA is strongly urging all its members to comment directly to the EPA about this issue before the Jan. 28, 2014 deadline. More information about how farmers can do this is available here.