I was heartened to read that Sens. Grassley and Ernst plan to vigorously oppose the latest threats against America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS is a vital policy that has fostered investments across every segment of the rural economy, from farming to manufacturing.
I also share the concerns raised by this paper’s editorial board about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent actions. The agency issued a notice threatening total biofuel volumes (including biodiesel), cut strong cellulosic ethanol targets after they were approved by the White House, and is now considering Valero’s scheme to devalue biofuel blends by attaching credits to existing ethanol exports.
If enacted, any one of these efforts would threaten the prosperity of rural communities like ours, where biofuels are creating exciting new opportunities. At Quad County Corn Processors, for example, we pioneered new technology to convert agricultural residue, namely corn kernel fiber, into high-value cellulosic biofuels. EPA writers actually warned against setting “inappropriately low production projections” for our “commercially successful technology” before those comments were inexplicably stricken from the EPA’s proposed biofuel targets for 2018.
President Trump has made it crystal clear that his administration supports homegrown biofuels, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt specifically testified that he would “further the objectives of Congress” by enforcing a pro-growth RFS. Clearly, someone at EPA isn’t listening, but it’s not too late. Our champions in the White House and in Congress need to take a hard line and demand that EPA withdraw all its threats against homegrown energy.
Delayne D. Johnson
Editor's note: Johnson is CEO of Quad County Corn Processors in Galva.