To the editor:
The ethanol industry contributed over $1.98 billion to Minnesota's economy in 2016. However, recent news surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which regulates blending volumes in fuel, threatens to significantly impact this important market and severely affect our state's economy.
First, the White House is currently debating a change to the RFS point of obligation. Shifting the point of obligation would essentially overturn the current RFS structure and likely prevent future expansion of ethanol blending.
This potential market uncertainty is compounded by the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency is set to take full control over the RFS after 2022. The EPA would then have complete authority to reduce or eliminate corn ethanol from blending standards. This would cause a decline in ethanol production, which would raise fuel prices for consumers, and devastate business for both the ethanol producers and the Minnesota corn farmers that supply them.
As a state representative, I am firmly against policy changes that could negatively impact some of our state's most lucrative industries. Ethanol production is crucial to the state's economy and Minnesota should capitalize on this market instead of allowing government regulation to hinder its potential.
Farmers and ethanol producers should not have to rely on the RFS. If ethanol were allowed to compete in a free market, I believe corn ethanol would thrive in the fuel marketplace and continue providing economic growth and opportunity for Minnesota.
State Rep. Mary Franson, (R) District 8B