Illinois farmers are counting on President Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Andrew Wheeler, to uphold this administration’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS protects homegrown ethanol’s share in the fuel supply against special interests who want to box corn growers out of the energy market.
Unfortunately, a handful of lawmakers representing oil companies are trying to get Wheeler to undermine the RFS. The EPA must stand strong against those looking to roll back competition from U.S. biofuels. More pressingly, the EPA must stay true to the president’s promise that the EPA will finally lift outdated restrictions against the sale of higher-ethanol blends during the summer driving season. Rural communities are counting on that market to help restore growth amid the worst agricultural downturn since the 1980's.
Illinois lawmakers should take note of the battle, stand strong against anti-biofuel forces in Congress, and ensure this EPA puts Illinois farmers ahead of special interests that want to hobble, or worse, end the RFS.
Jessica Troike, Tuscola