EPA ignores law, hurts economy

Let me get this straight: Congress, elected by and representing the citizens of the United States, passes the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which legislates the amount of renewable fuel in our nation’s fuel supply. Congress created the RFS to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, provide cleaner fuel choices for consumers, and improve our nation’s economy.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decides that the law that Congress passed can be circumvented at their whim—and they can change the rules and make their own recommendations on how much ethanol must be blended into our fuel supply. Who’s calling the shots here? The American people—or Big Oil?

Thanks to the outcry of 6,000 Nebraska corn farmers and ethanol advocates—and nearly 200,000 others nationwide—EPA has backed down and deferred its decision until some time in 2015. That’s the power of grassroots engagement—and every Nebraskan who took a moment to express their displeasure with the EPA proposal deserves kudos for their efforts.

But the fight isn’t over.

Even though EPA has kicked the can down the road, they will be making a decision at some point. And every Nebraskan needs to be engaged. Here’s how:

Always choose ethanol blends at the pump. And if you drive a flex fuel vehicle—like one in seven Nebraskans does—choose higher blends of ethanol such as E15, E30 or E85. Every drop of ethanol we use builds our economy, cleans up our air, and strengthens our nation.

Tell your federal representatives that the ethanol industry is a job-creator and revenue-generator for Nebraska—and that cutting back on our nation’s commitment to renewable fuels is a bad idea that only benefits Big Oil.

Administrative action by EPA should not trump the action of Congress and the will of the American people. Each of us needs to speak up and comment when EPA brings this issue back to the table. This is about our state, our nation and the health of our economy—and our families.

Andy Jobman, Gothenburg