(Posted Thu. Oct 1st, 2015)

By a vote of 7-15, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs soundly rejected an amendment offered today by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to eliminate corn ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard. NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement in response to the vote:


“Today, fifteen senators sent a strong message to the rest of the Senate: The RFS works. Today, America has cleaner air, greater energy independence, and stronger rural economies – all because of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Senator Toomey’s amendment would have taken America backwards. His amendment would have taken away consumers’ choices at the gas pump, increased our dependence on foreign oil, and left farmers and renewable fuel producers with less certainty in the energy market. The Committee was right to vote no.


“We especially want to thank Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who voiced their support for clean, renewable energy and America’s rural economies at today’s hearing. Their leadership is commendable. We also appreciate those Senators working behind the scenes and on the Senate floor to help secure America’s commitment to renewable fuels.”


The National Corn Growers Association also thanks the following senators who voted no, in opposition to the Toomey amendment: Tom Cotton (R-Ark.); Michael Crapo (R-Idaho); Mark Kirk (R-Ill.); Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.); Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Jon Tester (D-Mont.); Ben Sasse (R-Neb.); Dean Heller (R-Nev.); Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.); Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Jack Reed (D-R.I.); Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).


The following Senators voted against renewable fuels and in favor of the Toomey amendment: Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); David Vitter (R-La.); Robert Menendez (D-N.J.); Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.); Tim Scott (R-S.C.); Bob Corker (R-Tenn.); Mark Warner (D-Va.).