Hundreds of corn farmers rally on Capitol Hill to keep renewable fuel standards in place

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Washington D.C. At the gas pump you may see many different options to fill up.

Many pumps have a blend of ethanol. It’s part of the renewable fuel standards in place since 2006 during the Bush administration to add ethanol to your fuel.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to roll back on those standards and many corn farmers who produce that ethanol are angry.

Over 300 farmers met up at capitol hill on Wednesday to voice their frustrations.

“We will not allow the EPA to reduce the amount of ethanol being used in this country,” said Bob Dineen with the Renewable Fuels Association.

5th generation corn, wheat and soybean farmer Scott Lonier is from Clinton County Michigan and he’s here to tell Congress to keep this program in place.

“It was one of the best things to happen to rural America bringing jobs, money and economies back to the rural America,” said Lonier.

Lonier says before the RFS, his farm operation was having a hard time making ends meet—relying on government subsidies.

“We had a loan deficiency payment, if it got below the commodity got price what the loan of it was we had to count on the government to we were really at a break-even price,” said Lonier.

The EPA is proposing to reduce the RFS by nearly 4-billion gallons through 2016. The National Corn Growers Association says that’s roughly 1.5 billion bushels in lost corn demand.

Lonier says right now farmers have to compete with the oil industry to keep the RFS.

“That’s kind of the battle we are fighting, is the big oil money versus the farmers money—we invest our money back into our rural economy,” said Lonier.

An economy Lonier hopes can continue to thrive for his sons—set to take over the family farm one day.

After the rally the corn farmers met with their members of congress urging them not to support the EPA’s proposal and keep the RFS.



 
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