The Illinois congressman calls Pres. Biden for agricultural priorities

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

With farm costs and gas prices rising, an Illinois congressman says the Biden administration has failed farmers. At a House Ag committee hearing leading up to the 2023 Farm Bill, U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, R-IL, said farmers concerned about input costs, burdensome environmental regulations and rules affecting ethanol were ignored by the Biden administration.

“The agricultural economy is suffering across the board,” Davis said. “They are worried about whether or not they will be able to afford to plant a crop this year.”

While rising inflation costs affect all Americans, farmers are particularly hard hit. The cost of fertilizers, for example, has increased by up to 500% in some areas. Davis also points to the Biden administration’s refusal to meet the renewable fuels standard, which he calls an immediate fix to reduce emissions and high costs at the pump. Charles Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Agricultural Co-operatives, agrees that the market for alternative fuels needs to improve.

“Installations that offer higher octane blends are abysmal,” Conner said. “After rural America, we’re missing a great opportunity there.”

Davis said retail outlets won’t invest in offering new fuel alternatives if they don’t know whether the administration will follow existing law under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

“We’ve heard promises from administrations in the past and the current administration about what they’re going to do to help our ethanol producers, what they’re going to do to help our farms,” ​​Davis said. “That’s what’s frustrating.”

More than 1,000 US farmers and other biofuels advocates are calling on the Biden administration to turn to biofuels to combat rising gas prices. The White House is seeing increased pressure to restore year-round availability of E15 nationwide and increase production of ethanol and biodiesel as a means to replace Russian imports. According to the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, the statewide ethanol industry produces more than 4,000 full-time jobs and contributes $37 million in state and local revenue.

About Keneth T. Graves

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