Senator Mark Kirk helped defeat an amendment in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs today that would repeal corn ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The exclusion of corn ethanol from the RFS would decimate farmers whose cost of production is already much higher than current commodity prices.
“Illinois corn farmers in Illinois are grateful to Senator Kirk for his work today in Committee and for the chance to talk with his staff about this issue yesterday,” said Kenneth Hartman, Jr., President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association from Waterloo. “Not only did Senator Kirk vote no to defeat the amendment, he also worked with others in his party to ensure this amendment would not pass.”
The anti RFS amendment was offered by Senator Toomey (R-PA) to the American Crude Oil Export Equality Act, a piece of legislation that would allow petroleum manufacturers to export crude oil – something they haven’t been allowed to do since the 1970s.
The Amendment was drafted such that repealing the oil export ban is conditional on the repeal of corn ethanol, which would put the oil and ethanol industries at odds yet again. Interestingly enough, the American Petroleum Institute preferred a clean bill and also fought against this amendment.
“ICGA appreciates the open dialogue we have with Senator Kirk on our key issues and his willingness to work with us and for us when our farms are on the line,” Hartman said. “We especially appreciate the meeting between ICGA and Senator Kirk staff to review this and other important issues on Wednesday.”