You Had Better Speak Up on the Renewable Fuel Standard

Inside Dakota Ag

I didn't think my comments on the RFS would matter until I read some anti-ag, anti-farmer, anti-ethanol lies already sent to the EPA.

Published on: January 23, 2014

“Please don’t allow corn to be used for gas, we need it for food…”

“We must not increase ethanol to E15 level. Ethanol is hard on machinery…”

“Use of corn and soybean (for fuel) should be lowered or completed ended. They are planting on marginal land, wasting comondities (sic) for no good reason, driving up prices for food and land…”

“Do not change the amount of ethenol (sic) put in gasoline. This is working fine…”

Those are some of the anti-ethanol, anti-farmer comments posted on the website the EPA is running to collect comments on its proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard.

If you haven’t commented yet, you’d better. There are only about 13,000 comments on the site so far (I thought there would be hundreds of thousands) and a share of them seem to be anti-ethanol and anti-farmer. 

There are some comments, of course, from poultry and livestock producers who think the cut would be a good idea. But corn prices have come down on their own so I don’t see why past high corn prices should be a reason to cut the RFS now.

In November 2013, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel blended into the nation's gas supply this year.

Opponents of the cut say it will reduce corn prices, raise gas prices, undermine the ethanol industry and eliminate jobs in rural America.

When the RFS was established, Congress envisioned increasing biofuel blends to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower prices at the pump, improve the environment with lower greenhouse gas emissions and grow the American economy with jobs that can't be outsourced, the South Dakota Farmers Union said in a statement.

Oil companies are doing everything they can to maintain their stranglehold on the nation's fuel supply and halt a productive energy policy that works, SDFU contends.

“The renewable fuels industry provides over 1,800 jobs in South Dakota with average annual salaries at $60,000. The industry has helped our state whether the economic downturn and provided our agricultural industry with additional market options, as well as byproducts, such as distillers grains for livestock producers,” SDFU says.

I heard an EPA official at the South Dakota Corn Growers Association meeting say that every opinion counts. She said the agency especially wants to hear stories -- how the RFS has affected you personally, and how a cut in the RFS may affect you personally.

I read one farmer’s comment on the EPA site who said biofuels allowed his three sons come back to the farm That’s what they are looking for.

I hadn’t commented yet. I didn’t think my voice would matter. But after seeing what other people are saying. I’m going to put in my two cents. I’m going to tell them I’ve been able to keep my job at the Dakota Farmer, go to the lake once in a while and travel to Arizona occasionally because of ethanol. We’re selling more corn and soybean ads in the Dakota Farmer. We’re getting more subscribers as young people come back to the farm. Business is good. Life is good. Don’t cut the RFS!

Tell the EPA your story. Click on the blue “Comment” button on the upper right.