Sometimes, it feels like the distance between the farm fields of America’s heartland and the legislators in Washington, D.C., is much more than a matter of a thousand or so miles. There are issues of vital importance to agriculture that will be decided in our nation’s capital, and many of the people directly impacted by those decisions can feel powerless to affect them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Legislators attach great importance to input they receive from their constituents. Your voices DO matter. According to John Fuher, vice president of government affairs at Growth Energy, there are several current issues affecting agriculture that would be excellent subjects to discuss with your elected representatives.
“Talk to them about how important the RFS is in driving growth in the ag economy and providing stability to rural communities,” he stated. “Also, let them know how unfair it is that a federally approved fuel, E15, can’t be sold in the summer. Finally, stress how important biofuel production is in ensuring that we don’t experience another agricultural crisis.”
Key victory Constituent input, combined with industry and organizational efforts, is making a difference. The EPA recently issued a final decision on the oil industry effort to move the Point of Obligation. This proposal would have taken away the incentive for retailers to sell E15 and drive up the cost of fuel.
“Through our Prime the Pump campaign, Growth Energy has developed an excellent relationship with fuel retailers,” Fuher explained. “This enabled us to work closely with them to demonstrate why this was such a bad idea, and the EPA agreed. It has moved from what appeared to be an imminent threat to a non-issue. This was a major victory for the biofuels industry, fuel retailers, and ag producers.”
There are also some positive signs on the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) front, according to Fuher. “EPA Director Pruitt sent a letter to several members of Congress who have been advocating for a nationwide RVP waiver, allowing E15 to be sold year-round,” he said. “In the letter, he states that he has directed the EPA to determine whether it has the authority to issue a waiver. The industry is working to provide evidence that he does, in fact, have this authority.”
You can find more content like this in the latest edition of American Ethanol Magazine.