Gov. Pat Quinn is in Washington DC to fight against a plan to cut the amount of ethanol that has to be blended into gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting the amount of renewable fuels that refiners have to use by 3 billion gallons, the first reduction of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) since it was created in 2005. Gov. Pat Quinn believes that would harm the state’s farmers.
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“I think it’s important for Washington to understand that having a strong ethanol industry is important to our economy and our energy independence,” Quinn said. The oil industryhas argued for the reduction, claiming refiners are hitting a “blend wall” where they can no longer mix in enough ethanol to meet the requirements without exceeding the 10 percent limit that allows the fuel to be used in all cars and trucks. Some livestock producers have also spoken out against the RFS, claiming it’s driving up the price of corn they use as feed.
At the annual meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau in Chicago, IFB President Philip Nelson said he supports Quinn’s efforts to keep the standard, encouraging Quinn to tell the EPA “don’t mess the RFS.”