With the election in the rearview mirror, it’s time to set aside the partisanship and get to work on important issues. For many farmers like me, and those of us in rural areas, high on that list is Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that affect the well-being of the rural economy.
Currently, the EPA restricts the sale of higher-blend biofuels during the congested travel months of summer, which is putting farmers and drivers at a competitive disadvantage. Higher-blend biofuels like E15, made with 15 percent ethanol, offer greater demand for corn grown here in Indiana and creates economic opportunity during a time when farm income is down almost 50 percent in the last five years. They also burn cleaner and can save drivers up to 10 cents per gallon at the pump compared to traditional gasoline.
President Trump has announced his intentions to lift these regulations and now is the time for action. The EPA must follow through on the president’s promise and strike these regulations. It is also up to our leaders in Congress to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reject attempts by oil companies to sidestep regulations and force biofuels out of the market. Strong biofuel targets under the RFS are vital to consumers and farmers alike.
I hope Sen. Todd Young, as well as incoming Sen. Mike Braun and incoming Congressman Greg Pence, will fight for farmers and support the RFS in Washington.