Missouri Farmers Defend Ethanol In EPA Hearing

Crop and livestock farmers testify during EPA hearing on importance of ethanol.

Published on: Dec 17, 2013

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

COMMITTED TO CORN: Corn, cattle and ethanol producers from Missouri testified during an EPA hearing earlier this month in Washington, D.C., in support of ethanol and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The hearing was held to discuss the recent EPA proposal to cut 2014 biofuel requirement levels. Pictured (l-r) Jay Schutte, Missouri Corn board member from Benton City, Mo.; Rich Hanson, Show Me Ethanol general manager; Dwayne Schad, a cattle and corn farmer from Versailles, Mo.; and David Durham, a corn producer from Norborne, Mo.
COMMITTED TO CORN: Corn, cattle and ethanol producers from Missouri testified during an EPA hearing earlier this month in Washington, D.C., in support of ethanol and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The hearing was held to discuss the recent EPA proposal to cut 2014 biofuel requirement levels. Pictured (l-r) Jay Schutte, Missouri Corn board member from Benton City, Mo.; Rich Hanson, Show Me Ethanol general manager; Dwayne Schad, a cattle and corn farmer from Versailles, Mo.; and David Durham, a corn producer from Norborne, Mo.

This proposed reduction would put 2014 requirements below 2013 levels and reduce demand for corn by nearly 500 million bushels

EXPLAINING THE IMPACT: Show Me Ethanol General Manager Rich Hanson tells representatives from the EPA what devastating impacts a reduction in ethanol requirements would have on ethanol producers and the rural economy if the agencys proposed rule were approved. Hanson joined more than 140 individuals testifying in Washington, D.C., this week during the EPAs hearing on the proposed rule.
EXPLAINING THE IMPACT: Show Me Ethanol General Manager Rich Hanson tells representatives from the EPA what devastating impacts a reduction in ethanol requirements would have on ethanol producers and the rural economy if the agency's proposed rule were approved. Hanson joined more than 140 individuals testifying in Washington, D.C., this week during the EPA's hearing on the proposed rule.

"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