EPA RFS Proposal: A Slap in the Face of Vets

Darrell Rakestraw joined the military in 1982. A local boy who grew up on a centennial farm near Annawan, Illinois, he served his country in the army for nearly 20 years before retiring and moving back home with his family.

Darrell Rakestraw

Veteran Darrell Rakestraw signs the Support the RFS We the People petition that he created on behalf of Patriot Renewable Fuels. He encourages everyone who believes in energy security to help fight the good fight and sign the petition.

During the time he was stationed in Germany, he came home on leave and heard everyone talking about how America was fighting for oil.

“As a solder I found that hard to believe that we were fighting for oil,” said Rakestraw. “I thought we were fighting for a cause – for an injustice being done to Kuwait at that time.”

After retiring in 2002, he continued to support American troops until he retired and began his second career: working for the local ethanol plant Patriot Renewable Fuels. Rakestraw said heralding from a farm, agriculture and ethanol were very tied together.

Then on November 15, 2013 his view of why America is at war changed. This is the day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its 2014 proposed renewable fuel volumes for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Rakestraw said this is the moment he realized that America is in fact fighting for oil. “This proposal is now telling me it is the truth. So is that what we’ve been fighting for all this time?”

“I look at it like a slap in the face for me as a veteran,” continued Rakestraw. “To every veteran out there. For all the men and women who are still serving. And I really think that Big Oil is dancing on the graves of all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives. It’s a wrong decision to make. We have to get less dependent on foreign oil. This really woke me up.”

He knows that other veterans feel the same way as he and is encouraging people to fight for the RFS. On behalf of Patriot Renewable Fuels, Rakestraw created a WhiteHouse.gov “We the People” petition in support of the RFS, and encourages everyone who believes in this fight to sign the petition.

“We’re doing this for our soldiers. We’re doing this for our farmers. We’re doing this for our rural economies. We’re doing this for ethanol supporters and ethanol producers,” said Rakestraw who stresses that if the proposed 2014 RFS rule passes, it will a huge, negative effect on both the biofuels industry as well as the ag industry.

When asked what it was that he really wants Americans to know right now Rakestraw answered, “They need to realize we will continue to commit our mothers and fathers and our sons and daughters to wars in foreign lands. They may claim its in the name of humanity, but a lot of time it’s in the name of Big OIl.”

“And we’ve got to stop that.”

Check out the Patriot Renewable Fuels Photo Album.

8 thoughts on “EPA RFS Proposal: A Slap in the Face of Vets

  1. I’m sorry but Mr. Rakestraw is simply wrong. “Big Oil” didn’t lower the ethanol amount or tinker with the renewable fuel standard, the EPA did. The EPA did this because it has been shown that after a certain point the environmental benefits of ethanol cease to exist and actually started damage the environment or that helps. This is because large areas of untouched wilderness is now plowed over in order to grow the extra corn used to make the ethanol. What’s more, the higher the amount of ethanol in a gallon of gas less efficient the vehicle will be meaning that it will have to burn even more gas to go the same distance as it would on non-ethanol gasoline.

  2. nderstand exactly where Darrell Rakeshaw is coming from when he talks about our military defending oil interests in the Middle East. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to General Wesley Clark talk about the reasons our troops have been deployed so frequently in the middle east, and it’s no wonder that more lives haven’t been lost.
    Regarding Ken Glick’s comment about why the EPA reduced its required volumes relative to advanced biofuels as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard, he jumps the gun, so to speak, in stating why the EPA is planning to reduce them, since the EPA has not stated a reason for the reductions. They certainly did not state that ethanol’s environmental benefits diminish at higher levels or that start to damage the environment.
    Regarding Ken’s comments about grasslands, current law strictly prohibits the conversion of sensitive ecosystems to cropland. The provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) require that corn and other feedstocks used to produce renewable fuels for RFS may only be sourced from land that was actively engaged in agricultural production in 2007, the year of the bill’s enactment. Feedstocks grown on land converted to cropland after 2007 would not qualify as “renewable biomass,” and therefore biofuels produced from these feedstocks would not generate RIN credits for the RFS.
    Acreage enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program hit a record high of 2.65 million acres in 2012. The land that is enrolled in the program stays for a minimum of 30 years, meaning landowners are not allowed to fill in wetlands as they please. USDA predicts that enrollment in this program will continue to rise.
    Moreover, according to EPA’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory, no new grassland has been converted to cropland since 2005 and grassland sequestered 14% more carbon in 2011 (latest data available) than 1990.

  3. I am glad that Mr. Glick posted a comment and represented himself as speaking for an environmental equipment firm. I trust that the rest of America will join me in boycotting Enviro-Equipment, Inc. based on its employees spreading misinformation and showing a real lack of knowledge of environmental issues and showing complete disrespect to a veteran who is clearly passionate about his service and sharing his opinion.

    1.) the Conservation Reserve Program reduced acres last year from 39 million acres to 31 million acres due to decreased funding at the USDA. This had nothing to do with ethanol.
    2.) Ethanol is added into gasoline supply as an oxygenate that helps the ‘dirty’ gasoline burn more complete thus significantly reducing air pollution.
    3.) Ethanol contains less BTU/gal than gasoline causing varying amounts of mileage decreases in some engines. This is more than offset by the lower cost of ethanol blended fuels at the pump. Consumers who are car people and/or cost conscience know that it is about the cost per mile driven not the cost per gallon of fuel. Ethanol blended fuels significantly reduce the cost per mile driven in comparison to ethanol free gasoline.

  4. Thank you Mr. Rakestraw for your service to America. You are on target by supporting the RFS. Without it, the oil sector will simply continue to operate under the status quo, where they control what fuels consumers can find at the pump. EPA is considering changes to the RFS because of the heavy-handed politics of the high profit oil sector. Since the RFS was enacted, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been reduced to the slowest pace since deforestation has been tracked. and US crop land has been decreasing (2-3% lower today than in the 1990′s), farmers have switched production between crops and received their income from the market instead of from the federal government. Reducing ethanol production will increase the demand for tar sands oil and will increase environmentally harsh fracking.

  5. Darrell: I apologize for misspelling your last name in my previous post. I will say that when I re-read the article, there was a disagreement between its spelling in the lead paragraph and in the cutline for the photo of you, though I seemed to have used neither of those spellings! I hope you can overlook this…

  6. Mr. Glick I never said Big Oil lowered the standards so you should get your facts straight and not misquote articles; I clearly stated that the EPA lower the standards.

    Randy, Michael, and Fuel Freedom thank you for your supportive comments. This is an issue that needs to be brought to everyone’s attention.

    Michael, no worries about the misspelling. I noticed that in the article as well.

    God Bless



  7. Well, if no one else will say it, I will: The oil industry was responsible for the EPA decision. They put enough pressure on those who they can pressure to make this happen. Ken Glick’s comments (above) are, of course, a joke, as were those statements made in the recent AP story that he probably used as his source.

    Mr. Rakestraw is correct to feel the way he does, and every single American should agree with him.

    Marc J. Rauch
    Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher

  8. I was going to write to Ken Glick about his comments (posted above), and visited the website of the company he claims to be associated with. However, I couldn’t find anyone by that name on the EEI website. There is no one on the management team by that name, and a search of “Ken Glick” on the website provided no information.

    I did a Google search of the name and found additional comments posted at various websites by a “Ken Glick of EEI” but again there is no greater identification of such a person.

    So I guess that when Ken Glick (whoever he is) writes that he doesn’t believe that Big Oil is behind the efforts to change the RFS it’s because he himself doesn’t exist.

    Marc J. Rauch
    Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher