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In response to the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement last week that it plans to reduce the level of total renewable fuels for 2014, Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson issued the following statement:
"The U.S. EPA's decision to reduce the level of total renewable fuels for 2014 is both unwarranted and disappointing. Illinois Farm Bureau policy supports both the Renewable Fuel Standard and higher blend levels of ethanol in our nation's motor fuel supply to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to push the United States farther down the path toward complete energy independence.
"EPA's action is not about the inability of oil companies to blend any more ethanol into unleaded gasoline. Instead, it appears to be a response to the industry's wel-financed public relations and lobbying efforts, and reflects the administration's capitulation to the oil companies' unwillingness to blend any more lower-cost ethanol.
"In the coming weeks, Illinois Farm Bureau will submit comments and work with elected officials and other groups supportive of the Renewable Fuel Standard in the hopes of convincing the EPA and the administration to take a second look at a proposal that has the potential to drive up gasoline prices for consumers, increase greenhouse gas emissions and drop corn prices below the cost of production."