The United States Environmental Protection Agency delivered another harsh blow to rural America in late May when it officially proposed lowering the amount of corn ethanol required in Renewable Fuel Standard. Currently the EPA is taking comments and we urge everyone to make their voice heard to protect this crucial policy.
The Renewable Fuel Standard is America’s most successful energy policy as it lowers gas prices, reduces America’s need for foreign oil, creates thousands of jobs and drastically reduces carbon emissions compared to gasoline. Best of all, this program costs taxpayers nothing. But these benefits and our quality of life are at risk due to the EPA’s proposed cuts.
The plan to cut the RFS couldn’t have come at a worse time as South Dakota farmers are in the process of growing what’s projected to be the third-largest projected corn crop in state history while facing the enormous pressure of stagnant market prices that currently sit near the cost of production.
By proposing to lower the corn ethanol requirements set by law in 2007, the EPA is pulling the rug out from underneath the American farmer and taxpayer who both benefit from clean-burning, money-saving, high-octane, American-made fuel.
Nearly every South Dakotan has a neighbor, a relative or friend who works at one of the state’s 15 ethanol plants. South Dakota’s renewable fuel industry directly employs 1,900 with an average salary of $60,000. Indirectly, the ethanol industry employs 7,600 as its $3.8 billion annual impact stretches far and wide from its high-octane fuel to its livestock feed co-product, distillers grain.
Successful policies like the RFS have been a blessing to our rural communities, revitalizing main streets, creating new jobs for our young people and keeping harmful pollutants out of the air we breathe.
To preserve these things that enhance our quality of life in South Dakota, we need your help. The EPA is taking comments on the proposed changes to the RFS until July 27th and we ask that you please take action.
The time to take action is now. Tell the EPA: “Don’t Mess with the RFS!”