Sen. Stabenow and Michigan Corn Growers call on EPA to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard

Michigan Corn Growers submit more than 16,000 comments supporting the RFS

LANSING – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and the Michigan Corn Growers Association (MCGA) today called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

MCGA submitted more than 16,000 comments from businesses, farmers and consumers urging the EPA to protect the current targets for ethanol under the RFS today.

"The Renewable Fuel Standard drives down the cost of gasoline at the pump, creates good-paying jobs in Michigan, and sparks rural economic development across our state," said Sen. Stabenow. "Producing more of our transportation fuel here at home is an important piece of a smart approach to energy that boosts our economy and helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The EPA should protect the Renewable Fuel Standard because it's good for Michigan consumers, farmers and businesses."

At a press conference today, Jim Zook, executive director of MCGA, David Gloer, general manager of POET Biorefining in Caro, and Jeff Sandborn, farmer from Portland, urged the EPA to protect the RFS, saying that it drives down the price of gasoline for consumers, creates jobs and new businesses, and protects Michigan's air and Great Lakes from dangerous pollution.

"The Renewable Fuel Standard is a hugely successful policy that protects Michigan consumers and families," said Zook. "Ethanol saves consumers an average of $1.09 on every gallon of gas, which means Michigan families can keep more of their hard-earned money. And ethanol is a cleaner-burning fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning up Michigan's air and water and protecting the Great Lakes."

Last October, a Michigan State University economic impact report found that eliminating the RFS would result in $433 million in lost economic activity annually and hundreds of lost jobs in Michigan.

"Michigan companies produce ethanol right here in our state from corn grown by local farmers," said Gloer. "The money and jobs created by ethanol production stay right here in Michigan instead of being sent overseas to buy oil from foreign countries, many of which are hostile to the United States. Washington must not cave in to pressure from Big Oil companies and their lobbyists who are intent on killing the ethanol industry to protect their massive profits."

EPA has proposed weakening the RFS and is accepting public comments until January 28, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. The Michigan Corn Growers Association is accepting comments online through its website at

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