KyCorn joined farmers and biofuel advocates from across the country Thursday, June 9, at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) field hearing on proposed 2017 renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). All in attendance urged the EPA to follow the law and make more ethanol available to consumers in next year's fuel supply.
Testifying on behalf of KyCorn was Megan Bell, board member and farmer from Mayfield, KY. Megan tells the EPA the negative impact their proposal will have on the environment as well as her family.
"Your current decision will negatively impact our environmental and economic future and will negatively affect the future of my children. I don't have a hidden agenda, I have four children. I owe it to them to take a stand and ask that you reverse your decision and maintain obligations as Congress intended," said Megan.
"Raising RVOs back to statutory levels will preserve, what I consider to be one of the most impactful environmental policies in our history, and enhance an industry that literally cleans the air bushel by bushel and gallon by gallon."
Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, and president of the National Corn Growers Association, highlighted the investment in fuel infrastructure over the past year in partnership with USDA's Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.
"NCGA and our state corn associations helped match [USDA] funds, making an overall investment totaling more than $200 million. These are real dollars going toward real investments to help provide consumers a more affordable and cleaner fuel option at the pump," said Bowling.
"The EPA and this Administration made a pledge to the American people to become energy independent by developing American-based energy sources such as corn ethanol. Farmers responded by growing enough corn for all of our needs. Businesses responded by investing in production infrastructure across rural America. As a result of these government promises and private efforts, the U.S. is able to sustain a prosperous renewable fuels industry. Now it's up to EPA to deliver on its promises."
Also testifying at the hearing were Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce, Crappie Masters TV co-host Brian Sowers, former Iowa State Rep. Annette Sweeney, and farmer-leaders from a dozen state corn grower associations. All told, more than 100 people testified in support of raising the volume of ethanol and other renewable fuels.
Supporters are urged to submit comments to the EPA at ncga.com/rfs. The deadline is July 11.