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LETTER: Continue support of renewable fuels

To the Editor:

As general manager of POET Biorefining-Mitchell, I wanted to take this opportunity to urge your continued support of biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard and provide an issue update.

We employ 43 team members, purchased more than 22 million bushels of locally grown corn in 2013, and we take an enormous amount of pride in being your neighbors and make it a priority to be a part of this community.

In November, the EPA released a proposed reduction in the renewable volume obligation (RVO) numbers for 2014. These volumes represent the amount of renewable fuel blended into the nation’s fuel supply under the Renewable Fuel Standard. A reduction in volume, as proposed, would strand billions of dollars of private investment, increase gas prices and would destabilize rural economies across the country.

The EPA opened this proposed rule up for public comments to allow stakeholders, business owners and members of the agriculture community to express their concern. Many of you chose to get involved and sent emails to the EPA, mailed in postcards and even submitted hand-written letters. As of the date of this letter, there have been more than 219,000 comments recorded.

We’re expecting a decision on the final rule this summer. Although it’s difficult to get the EPA to modify a proposed rule, we are hopeful they will increase the RVOs due to the comments you submitted.