(Posted Fri. Jun 26th, 2015)
Rural America rallied around the Renewable Fuels Standard yesterday in a strong show of support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With 450 ethanol supporters following Captain Cornelius from the park side rally into the EPA hearing rooms, farmers and their friends raised their voices to roar “don’t mess with the RFS.”
EPA officials began a full day of listening at nine in the morning as more than 40 panels of approximately 280 farmers, ethanol and oil industry executives and an array of other interested citizens supplied a steady stream of testimony. State corn associations and the National Corn Growers Association together ensured U.S. corn farmers played a major role in the conversation with nine members of NCGA’s corn board and a multitude of grower leaders from 12 states shared their unique perspectives on the importance of ethanol and the RFS.
The sun heated up outside as quickly as the testimony did in the Reardon Civic Center. Refusing to wilt despite the nearly 100 degree temperatures, 450 supporters joined in nearby Huron Park to rally for rural America. Speakers from industry-leading organizations, the Governors and Secretaries of Agriculture of Iowa and Missouri, and NCGA President Chip Bowling revved up the crowd by reminding them of the critical nature of their cause. Cheering “ethanol kicks gas,” the rally goers marched through the streets of downtown Kansas City, Kansas in a show of solidarity behind Captain Cornelius. Signs still in hand, they strode straight into the hearing rooms at the center, visually reinforcing the pro-RFS testimony in progress.
As afternoon turned to evening, the final panelists wrapped up testimony knowing that, after hours upon hours of authentic speakers detailing the real world impacts of EPA’s RFS-eroding proposal, the agency officials present must realize the disastrous impact policy changes formulated in Washington can have on the family farmers who drive economies in rural America.