It’s clear that Kansas’ agriculture, valued at more than $64 billion, plays a major role in our state’s economy. In fact, corn, the state’s highest-valued crop, just produced its largest harvest at 699 million bushels.
The top customers of Kansas corn? Livestock feeders and ethanol plants. But with the Environmental Protection Agency slated to take full control of the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2023, our state’s corn farmers and ethanol producers should be concerned.
The RFS sets a minimum quota of renewable biofuels to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. These requirements helped create a prosperous industry in corn-based ethanol production.
However, transitioning authority to the EPA means the agency would be free from congressional oversight. With this unchecked power, the EPA could significantly cap or altogether abolish corn-based ethanol from the program’s blending requirements. This could create crippling business uncertainty for refiners, farmers and countless individuals who depend on Kansas’ successful agriculture industry.
To avoid this potential blow to our state’s economic well-being, we should not allow the EPA to take control of the RFS. Corn ethanol has an opportunity to thrive domestically and internationally as the most cost-effective biofuel. It should be allowed to compete in an open market, on a level playing field, free of unfriendly government restraints.