Did you know that Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) loves ethanol? Those in attendance at Patriot Renewable Fuels roundtable and RFS rally learned this when hearing from Rep. Bustos about her support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
A little over two weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its proposed renewable fuel volumes for the 2014 RFS. However much to the surprise of the biofuel industry, the EPA proposed lower volumes that in 2013 and even lower volumes when taking into account what the statute outlines for growth of biofuel use. That every day, Rep. Bustos along with Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy expressing concern over the proposed rule.
During the roundtable, Rep. Bustos made several comments in support of biofuels including the need for more legislators to learn about biofuels from people on the ground in the industry such as she was doing during her visit with Patriot. She also noted that she liked the buttons that the dozens of attendees were wearing saying: I love ethanol. “I love ethanol too,” she said.
“I will do everything I can to keep fighting for that. I’m very happy to be here and Gene [Griffith with Patriot] has a success story that he shared with you already and the fact that there is going to be a groundbreaking for an additional $10 million biodiesel and nine new jobs, those are things we have to foster through our legislation and make sure that we’re doing everything we can to fight for ethanol. That we’re doing everything we can to fight for biofuels,” said Rep. Bustos. “It is so critical to the state of Illinois and to our country and I’ll speak very specifically to the 17th Congressional District. We have three ethanol plants, Galva, Lena and Annawan so we’re talking a major economic impact.”
Rep. Bustos is a member of the Ag Committee and she is committed to being a positive voice about biofuels in her role.
“We can’t take a step back,” stressed Rep. Bustos. “At worse we want to stay status quo but we want to make improvements. And it’s very clear on why we want to make sure we’re fighting for this.”
“We have time to fight this.”
Listen to Rep. Cheri Bustos full remarks here: Rep. Cheri Bustos Loves Ethanol
She encouraged everyone to weigh in on the RFS during the 60 day comment period. She explained that the RFS represents economic development. “We need to do everything we can to help the rural communities. It also helps us get away from dependence on foreign oil. Who can argue with wanting to get away with our dependence on foreign oil? And this [RFS] is a big part of that,” said Rep. Bustos.
Bustos also addressed the correlation between the FAARM Bill and the RFS. “Frankly the federal government has done a disservice to family farmers because we haven’t been able to pass a 5-year farm bill and this is a disservice to rural America and places like Patriot. We’ve got to quit this uncertainty.”
She concluded by saying the proposed volumes and consequential uncertainty are unfair at a time that Patriot is ready to invest in growing their business even during a time when the EPA is looking at lower renewable fuel volumes.
Check out the Patriot Renewable Fuels photo album.