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EPA Damaging Economy, Environment

January 24, 2020
Emmetsburg News

To The Editor:

Here in Palo Alto County we live among heroes, the people of Project Liberty who have worked diligently for years to do their part trying to solve the climate crisis and to provide opportunity to rural America. The cellulosic ethanol that they have learned to produce is tremendously better for the environment than fossil fuels. Wide spread use of cellulosic ethanol would be key to slowing climate change, but as of now Project Liberty has been put on pause because of poor energy policy enforcement.\

Unfortunately the EPA has chosen not to follow the Renewable Fuels Standard. Leadership at the EPA has granted waivers to refineries so they do not have to blend as much ethanol. This move has drastically cut demand for ethanol. By my estimates our nation's ethanol industry can use 38% of the corn our farmers grow each and every year. These waivers have reduced this number to 28% which equates to a 26% reduction in corn demand and ethanol production. American agriculture has been hit hard economically because of our own EPA. When the world uses less ethanol, it uses more fossil fuels, which is not good for the health of the environment. The acronym EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency; this does not seem like the appropriate name given their recent actions. I feel the people at the EPA who are ignoring the RFS should be held personally accountable for the economic and environmental damage they are causing.

Just recently the EPA issued its rule on the RFS for 2020 and it does nothing to make up for the missing gallons of biofuel demand as a result of the EPA's small refinery hardship waivers handed out to big oil in August. Rural America needs to continue to use its unified voice to hold the EPA accountable and ensure that they blend the 15 billion gallons of biofuels mandated by he RFS.

Individual change, as well as system change needs to happen to stop the climate crisis. As individuals, we need to make choices that reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that are emitted and our government needs to be a champion of science and encourage citizens to make the right energy decisions. Without quick action, we and our children will suffer.

As we enter this new year let's make sure we are causing more good to happen in this world than harm. Make it a point to see beyond the extent of your own life and think of the impact you will have on the generations yet to come. Please reach out to our friends, neighbors and relatives at Project Liberty who have been affected by this political issue and let them know that we are with them and planning for better days ahead.

(signed) Eric Woodford

Palo Alto County Farm Bureau President

Woodford Equipment Owner



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