(Posted Mon. Nov 9th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association today expressed deep disappointment that Members of Congress from corn-producing states have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the volume of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.


“I’m disappointed to see Members of Congress turn their back on farmers and rural communities,” said Wesley Spurlock, First Vice President of the National Corn Growers and a farmer from Stratford, Texas.


“The Renewable Fuel Standard has been one of the most successful energy policies ever enacted. The RFS works. It has reduced our dependence on foreign oil. It has made the rural economy stronger. And it has been better for the environment. It’s puzzling that these Representatives would not want to support it,” said Spurlock.


In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy dated November 4, House members ask the EPA to reduce the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO), the amount of biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply – despite the fact that doing so would violate congressional statute. Electronic document properties have since revealed that the letter was drafted by an oil industry lobbyist, as reported by Bloomberg News.


“This letter has Big Oil’s fingerprints all over it,” said Spurlock. “The letter includes false attacks on ethanol that have been disproven time and again. The blend wall is a false construct. We have known from the beginning that eventually we would need higher blends of ethanol to meet the statutory requirements. That was the point: to replace fossil fuels with renewables. The oil industry doesn’t want to hear that. That’s why they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to repeal the RFS, even to the point of having their lobbyists write this letter.”


Spurlock called on farmers, employees of the renewable fuels industry, and rural community leaders to contact their elected officials and make their voices heard.


“Ethanol is the backbone of the rural economy, and the elected officials who represent these communities need to hear from us. It’s up to us to tell them this is unacceptable and hold them accountable. Corn farmers are doing their part to feed and fuel America. It’s time for Congress to do their part and stand up for energy independence, clean air, and strong rural communities.”


The following Members of Congress from corn-producing states signed the letter.


Colorado: Mike Coffman (R), Doug Lamborn (R)

Illinois: Robert Dold (R)

Kansas: Mike Pompeo (R)

Kentucky: Thomas Massie (R), Andy Barr (R)

Maryland: Andy Harris (R)

Michigan: Dan Benishek (R), Mike Bishop (R), Tim Walberg (R)

Missouri: Billy Long (R)

North Carolina: G. K. Butterfield (D), Robert Pittenger (R), David Rouzer (R), George Holding (R), Renee Elmers (R), Walter Jones (R), Virginia Foxx (R), Richard Hudson (R)

New York: John Katko (R), Christopher Gibson (R), Tom Reed (R), Chris Collins (R), Lee Zeldin (R), Richard Hanna (R), Peter King (R)

Ohio: Jim Jordan (R), Steve Chabot (R), Bradley Wenstrup (R)

Pennsylvania: Lou Barletta (R), Glenn Thompson (R), Ryan Costello (R), Joseph Pitts (R), Keith Rothfus (R), Charles Dent (R), Bill Shuster (R), Patrick Meehan (R), Tim Murphy (R), Scott Perry (R), Mike Kelly (R)

Texas: Marc Veasey (D), Henry Cuellar (D), Filemon Vela (D), Gene Green (D), Ruben Hinojosa (D), Joaquin Castro (D), Kevin Brady (R), Will Hurd (R), Randy Weber (R), Kay Granger (R), Randy Neugebauer (R), Roger Williams (R), Jeb Hensarling (R), Pete Session (R), Louie Gohmert (R), Lamar Smith (R), Mike Conaway (R), Sam Johnson (R), Kenny Marchant (R), Michael Burgess (R), John Culberson (R), Ted Poe (R), Blake Farenthold (R), Michael McCaul (R), Brian Babin (R), John Ratcliffe (R), Joe Barton (R), John Carter (R), Pete Olson (R), Mac Thornberry (R), Bill Flores (R)

Virginia: Scott Rigell (R), Robert Wittman (R), Morgan Griffith (R), Robert Hurt (R), Barbara Comstock (R), Dave Brat (R), Bob Goodlatte (R)

Wisconsin: Glenn Grothman (R), James Sensenbrenner (R)