Nebraska farmers take a stand against the EPA, saying the agency is taking a huge step backwards on ethanol.
They're urging Nebraskans to get vocal, and angry about a proposal that could curtail ethanol use.
In a joint statement, the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association, Nebraska Soybean Association, Nebraska Wheat Board and Nebraska Wheat Growers Association expressed great disappointment and concern regarding the proposal.
The change to the Renewable Fuel Standard would reduce the required amount of conventional biofuels (mainly corn and sorghum based ethanol) in the nation's fuel supply.
Farmer Tim Scheer of St. Paul says all of the work Nebraska has invested in ethanol is at risk.
He told NTV, "It's not only a step backwards, but it's an uncertainty for people in the market who want to continue to develop the ethanol market, so that we're not dependent on foreign oil."
Nebraska Farm Bureau just wrapped up its annual meeting. The group is also strongly opposed to the proposal from the EPA.
Farmers are asking all Nebraskans, from the farm to main street to contact the EPA, saying it is urgent to take action.
The EPA opened a 60-day comment period on November 29.
The Corn Board has set up a portal on its website, NebraskaCorn.org for those who wish to share their thoughts with the government.
Last week, three Nebraska corn farmers were among those testifying at an EPA hearing on the proposal.
Nebraska Corn Board vice-chairman Curt Friesen of Henderson, Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) president Joel Grams of Minden, and NeCGA member Brandon Hunnicutt of Giltner all spoke in opposition to the EPA proposal.
"The economic vitality that the RFS has spurred in rural America extends well beyond my farm. I see the impact of increased tax revenue for our county to build roads and provide services. I see main street businesses with customers in the aisles. I see entrepreneurs starting new ventures— many of which are based in agriculture and food production," Friesen.
He continued, "I have seen young farmers returning to agriculture, such as my daughter and son-in-law."