Missouri corn, cattle and ethanol producers traveled to Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, to testify during an EPA hearing on the proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rule. The Missouri delegation's message: Don't Mess With the RFS.
"In my area of the world, homegrown renewable fuels have not just helped the agricultural economy, but given us a new sense of prosperity," MCGA Board Member Jay Schutte, a corn and livestock farmer from Benton City, Mo., said in his testimony. "I am here today to ask that the RFS be kept in place and that the volume levels that were first put in place be kept."
Reduction would significantly reduce demand for corn
This proposed reduction would put 2014 requirements below 2013 levels and reduce demand for corn by nearly 500 million bushels
"I could be working on the farm today, but thought it was more important to come to Washington, D.C., because I support ethanol and have seen how important the RFS is to all of agriculture and to America," Dwayne Schad, a corn and livestock producer from Versailles, Mo., said during his testimony. "Reducing the demand for corn in a record crop year will have a devastating impact on our communities."
Reduced demand for ethanol could also affect Missouri's six farmer-owned ethanol plants
"While Show Me Ethanol provides employment to 38 individuals, the number of families dependent on our production is much greater," testified Rich Hanson, Show Me Ethanol general manager. "The local truck drivers moving products to and from our facility, and the employees of the local elevator supplying our corn, as well as all the farm families in the area that grow corn to support our production all depend on us to help provide a livelihood in rural Missouri."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Hanson continued, "Not only does ethanol lower the cost of fuel consumed by each of us in our daily transportation, it also provides price support for the agricultural economy that is the heart and soul of the United States. The EPA did a wonderful thing by putting in place the RFS, reducing the dependence on foreign oil and providing an opportunity for a clean domestic renewable fuel source. By taking a step backward, you are sending a signal that the government no longer supports the production of biofuels. Making changes to the mandated volumes takes away incentive for businesses such as ours to expand and will create challenges for some to even continue operating."
Reducation would also impact consumers
Missouri's delegation also noted the potential impact on consumers if levels are dropped to 13 billion gallons
"I sit on the board of a local bank and have seen the rural revitalization occurring in our area due to ethanol production," noted David Durham of Norborne, Mo. "Better paying jobs at the plants, more jobs in the suppliers to the plants and more retail businesses. In this tight economy, we also see more people coming in to borrow money just to pay their heating or electricity bill. These are the people who will suffer the most when they have to pay 40-50 cents per gallon more to fill up their car because it is not blended fuel."
Source: Missouri Corn Growers