Minnesota Farmer

Time to step up

The EPA thinks it’s time to back off on an environmental issue, and I don’t understand it, who do they think they are?  Why is an environmental  group backing off on enforcing the law?  We need to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The issue is over a proposed change to Renewable Volume Obligation numbers for 2014 that oil companies must provide as part of the RFS.  The EPA is siding with oil companies and saying that they do not have to obey the law.  At issue are RINS, those interesting certificates that ethanol producers create when when they produce renewable fuels like ethanol.

Big oil companies were supposed to use those RINS when they blended in ethanol, but they have not. Instead they let smaller companies like Holiday, 7-Eleven and Casey’s blend the ethanol for them. Big Oil would purchase these RINS for little or nothing so that they did not have to make changes in their refineries that were required by law.  Back when RINS were worth 5 cents a gallon that seemed like a good deal.  Now RINS are worth $1.50 or more and big oil will have to fork over big money to get those RINS and pay off their obligation to the government.  They are looking at some serious money here and they are screaming “bloody murder.”  Just the hint that the EPA was considering reducing the requirements of the RFS sent oil stock prices soaring and netted big oil billions of dollars.

For years now oil companies have been required to use ethanol as an oxygenate since their previously used oxygenates were found to be highly toxic to the environment.  Because of the success of ethanol the oil companies and others have promoted a “food vs. fuel” debate blaming ethanol production for the rise of food prices.  Research has since proved that oil prices have a much greater effect on food prices than does the cost of producing ethanol.  This is a fact that Big Oil would not like you to know.

Farmers producing food and fuel is not a new thing.  In a previous post “It’s always been this way” I talked about how farmers have raised food and fuel for the world for as far back as there are farms.  Oil companies would like you to think that we cannot produce both food and fuel on the farm when it has always been our job.  Today we produce more food and fuel on U.S. farms using less fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, land and labor while protecting the environment than at anytime in my life.  Today 95% of the food and fuel produced on U.S. farms is produced by farm families.

So now you need to step up and let the EPA know that they should not let Big Oil off the hook.  The RFS was put in place to protect our environment and produce jobs here in the U.S.  Now just as the production of the Next Generation of ethanol plants are starting to come on line Big Oil wants to gut the RFS.  This will put more of our troops into harm’s way protecting the worlds oil supply when we can produce all we need right here.  Big Oil has not done it’s job in obeying the law while America’s farmers and small business owners have.

What you need to do.

  • Write a letter or send an email to the EPA.


  1. Mail: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington D.C.
  2. Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov
  3. Online: Visit www.regulations.gov  search RFS  click on Renewable Fuel Standard Program; 2014 standards  Click on Comment now
  • Be sure to include Docket number: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0479 in your comments.

Send a copy of your comments to your U.S. Senator and Representative.  Also send a copy to President Obama.

We need thousand of people to tell the EPA to enforce the RFS or Big Oil will get its way and Americas people will be the ones who suffer for it.



2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Michael,
A strong piece. How come you don’t have Twitter in your Share function?

Comment by Le Rosen

Sorry, I’m not a twitter user, so I do not think about it.

Comment by Michael

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