Kansas ag, ethanol groups disappointed Huelskamp remains cosponsor of bill that would repeal RFS E-mail
Opinion
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 10:44

By Kansas Corn Growers Association

Kansas Farm Bureau

Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors

Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association

 

Representative Tim Huelskamp remains a cosponsor of a bill that calls for the repeal of the Renewable Fuels Standard, a key program that gives ethanol producers access to sell their product in a market controlled by the oil industry.

In a recent visit to Rep. Huelskamp’s office, leaders from Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) delivered a letter signed by several ag and ethanol groups asking him to remove his name as a cosponsor of H.R. 4286, the American Energy Renaissance Act. The congressman’s staff told KCGA Friday that he will not respond to the letter.

Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baucus said Rep. Huelskamp’s cosponsorship of the bill was short-sighted.

“Farmers across Kansas receive significant economic benefits and additional rural job opportunities thanks to the RFS,” Baccus said. “Representative Huelskamp represents one of the largest agricultural districts in the country and his sponsorship of a bill that removes a key market from our producers’ toolbox is shortsighted and shows a lack of understanding of commodity markets, value added agriculture, and what it means to be a Congressional Representative to his constituents.”

KCGA President Bob Timmons, Fredonia said a repeal of the RFS does not belong in a bill that benefits domestic energy production.

“We were surprised when we learned the Congressman was a cosponsor of a bill that would repeal the RFS, considering he has eleven biofuels plants in his district” Timmons said. “This bill would do some good things for domestic oil and gas production, but why go after ethanol, a vital part of our domestic energy portfolio?”

The letter was signed by Kansas Corn, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association. Ethanol industry signers were: Conestoga Energy Partners, Liberal and Garden City; Western Plains Energy, Campus; Nesika Energy, Scandia and Kansas Ethanol, Lyons, and ICM, Inc., Colwich.

In the letter, the groups noted that while the bill contained many beneficial items for domestic energy, the repeal of the RFS is also a key provision of the bill. The letter states:

“While the legislation may propose several beneficial items regarding domestic energy, we are adamantly opposed to its provision that would repeal the existing Renewable Fuels Standard and corresponding programs.

Our state biofuels industry includes eleven plants which are in your district, employ many of your constituents and add value to the Kansas economy; therefore, your support of this provision simply is not in the best interest of the Kansas Big First Congressional District. The economic impact of these plants continue today as they generate economic activity in terms of direct and indirect employment, as well as creating markets and investment returns for several thousand Kansas citizens, many of which are your constituents.

Repealing the Renewable Fuels Standard will have a profoundly negative impact on US and Kansas agriculture, and many communities in the First Congressional District of Kansas.  We request that you remove your name as a co-sponsor of H.R 4286 immediately.”

 
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