Minnesota corn farmers stand up and speak out at RFS hearing

Dan Root

Dan Root

No distance is too far to travel to speak out in favor of clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol.

Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to cut the amount of conventional corn ethanol blended in our fuel supply below what Congress called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The proposed cuts are a major blow to drivers, corn farmers and anyone who enjoys breathing cleaner air. Corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent compared to gasoline. It also saves consumers between 50 cents and $1 per gallon at the pump. For corn farmers, the 200 million gallon cut equates to 71.4 million bushels of corn going unsold and $271 million in lost revenue.

The RFS is working. There is no need to slash the conventional corn ethanol portion. That’s the message MCGA farmer-leaders Jerry Demmer and Dan Root are bringing today to a public RFS hearing in Kansas City today.

“The opportunity to continue moving America’s energy policy forward using corn ethanol and the RFS is right in front of us,” said Root, a farmer near Hayfield who serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA). “Instead of wasting that opportunity by senselessly cutting the corn volume of the RFS, let’s continue to lead and move America’s energy policy forward.”

Demmer, who farms near Clarks Grove and serves on the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council, shared his own story about the success of the RFS.

Jerry Demmer farms in Clarks Grove and is heading to Kansas City, Kan., for a public hearing on the RFS.

Jerry Demmer

“Minnesota was the first state in the nation to blend 10 percent ethanol in its fuel supply. We did it because the air quality in our metro regions was poor. Ethanol fixed that,” Demmer said. “As a corn farmer, it brings me a tremendous sense of pride to know that the crop I grow on my own farm helps people breathe easier and results in cleaner air. I’ve also been proud to see the role ethanol has played in revitalizing many of our rural communities.”

Yes, traveling to Kansas City is a long ways to go to offer comments to an EPA that seems stubbornly cemented in their anti-corn ethanol position. But if corn farmers don’t stand up and speak out for themselves, who will?

A big “Thank You” to Demmer and Root for taking the time to attend today’s hearing and speak out on behalf of MCGA’s 7,200 members, and all Minnesota corn farmers in favor of a strong corn ethanol portion of the RFS.

Make your voice heard
Just because you weren’t able to join Demmer and Root in Kansas City today doesn’t mean you can’t make your own voice heard on the RFS.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its RFS proposal through July 11. Go here to tell EPA that the RFS — especially the corn ethanol portion — is working. There is no need to cut it.

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