For more than 18 months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has delayed new rules on the Renewable Fuel Standard. The delay in establishing these rules has sent a loudly mixed message: On one hand, the public sector supports ethanol, but, on the other, it cannot clarify rules that will spur private sector investment in research, development and new technology deployment.
Recently, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk called on the EPA to finalize federal rules on the usage of ethanol and other bio-fuels. I applaud both of our senators for doing the right thing to support our local and national economies and help make America become energy independent.
We’ve achieved great success at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, but federal indecision threatens to turn the clock back on the progress we’ve made. Since we first began operations in 2003, we’ve been able to work with private sector partners to commercialize more than 50 technologies. These technologies generate in excess of $5.6 billion in annual revenue and are responsible for the creation of more than 5,000 jobs.
Continued delay by the U.S. EPA threatens to reverse our momentum, which in turn will affect not only jobs in Southern Illinois but across the nation. Southern Illinois and all of America deserve better. The EPA needs to do the right thing, fulfill its legal obligation as set forth by Congress and issue rules that keep the Renewable Fuel Standard strong.
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National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center