Letter: Don’t be misinformed about Renewable Fuel Standard by ‘big oil’

From: Anngie Steinbarger


I was dismayed to read the Feb. 16 letter from Mark Brown and Travis DeFries, managers at Valero, who want U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., to help oil companies gut the market for Indiana farmers by dismantling the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

As RFS-defender Mike Buis noted in his own letter, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-texas, is attempting to recruit Young for an anti-ethanol crusade. It seems unthinkable, but if Young agreed it would be a clear betrayal of Indiana farmers who rely on biofuel producers to buy their corn — a vital market during the agricultural downturn.

Brown and DeFries claim to represent Valero’s pro-ethanol side, but anyone looking for the truth should do quick web search for the special report by Reuters entitled “Refiner Valero’s secret campaign against U.S. biofuels mandates.” The company is using a hidden network of dark money and pay-for-play front groups to dismantle the RFS and attempt to put farmers like me out of business, according to the article.

That’s why Brown and DeFries call the RFS “broken” and insist that “reform is coming,” no matter what the cost to Indiana.

They want readers to think that “reform” might not hurt corn ethanol, but their parent company has sued and pushed the Environmental Protection Agency over and over to reduce biofuel targets.

They also want to slow investments in technology to turn corn oil and inedible corn fiber into advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

The RFS is America’s single most successful energy policy, and it has been working for over 12 years to create rural jobs and increase U.S. energy security. Thanks to the RFS, the number of fuel stations selling E15 has doubled for the past four years in a row.

Senator Young and his colleagues must not allow the RFS to fall prey to “big oil’s” misinformation campaign. He should make it clear that he rejects any Texas-born efforts to undermine the RFS.