Midwestern governors have banded together to send letters to President Obama showing their support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. The governors are part of the Governor's Biofuels Coalition and sent letters in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal which would scale back the volume of renewable fuels under the 2014 RFS.
In a joint letter sent to the President, EPA Administrator Gina M. McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the governors argue in defense of the ethanol standard, stressing the importance of the biofuel as it diversifies America's energy choices.
As evidence, the governors point to an Iowa State University estimate that says $corn prices alone could drop 19 cents per bushel based on the proposed rule, which could bring corn prices below the cost of production for many farmers."
They also note a potential ripple effect on agribusiness, rural communities and potentially the economy.
In November, EPA proposed a 3 billion gallon cut in the amount of renewable fuels that would be be blended into the U.S. fuel supply next year - which would cut corn-based ethanol use by 1.4 billion gallons. That's a cut of about 500 million bushels of corn for ethanol use.
One group - including Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, made a direct request to the EPA to reconsider the proposed rule, according to a National Corn Growers Association release. In his letter, Quinn says total economic impact of the 14 ethanol plants in Illinois is estimated to be about $5.3 billion annually, and the facilities provide 4,000 jobs.
The Center for American Progress outlines key benefits of the Renewable Fuel Standard.