Missouri Corn Growers Rally For Rural America; Tell EPA RFS Is Working
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)—Members of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) joined nearly 450 corn farmers and ethanol supporters from across the Midwest to Rally for Rural America today, letting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) know the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working. The rally was held in conjunction with an EPA public hearing regarding their recent proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuel required under the RFS.
“Today I could – and should – be planting,” said MCGA President Kevin Hurst of Tarkio, Mo., during his testimony to EPA. “Instead we again have to spend time away from the farm to remind the EPA they are ignoring the law.”
In May, the EPA issued a proposal to slash the level of renewable fuel required to be blended in the fuel supply by nearly 4 billion gallons through 2016, representing nearly a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand.
“Today there are 10 billion bushels more corn in the world than there were 10 years ago,” said MCGA Vice President Gary Porter, a corn farmer from Mercer, Mo. “We need more markets, not less. The RFS was working and growing right along with corn yield trends in the U.S. Corn price is now below break-even. This is the worst possible time to reverse a program that is working. I cannot understand cutting a program that is homegrown, better for the environment and working just like it was intended.”
The public hearing started at 9 a.m. in the Jack Reardon Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Providing testimony in bipartisan fashion, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joined Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. After sharing comments to a packed room, the two governors joined farmers and ethanol supporters from across the U.S. at a Rally for Rural America. The large crowd in attendance demonstrated the importance of the issue and strong support for renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol.
“We fought hard for this market,” concluded Hurst. “We will continue to fight hard for this market. But the EPA must hold up its end of the agreement and enforce the RFS as intended by the will of Congress, not the will of the oil industry.”
Downloadable media assets for this article:
Right-click the link and choose "Save as." Captions for the photos are provided.