Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders and CEO Gary Marshall joined Reps. Ike Skelton (D-04) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-08) this morning to support proposed legislation to strengthen America's renewable fuels industry and strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of their power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
"This proposed legislation is a much-needed step to reign in a governmental agency clearly out of control," said Marshall. "We thank Congresswoman Emerson and Congressman Skelton for using their Missouri common sense to address corn growers' key federal priorities."
In 2007, the Supreme Court gave the EPA the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Today's proposed legislation would prohibit the agency from moving forward to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
"Emission regulation by the EPA under the Clean Air Act would dramatically hamper agriculture's ability to compete in international markets," says Marshall. "The threat of the EPA's interference kept corn growers at the table during debate of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. With the likelihood of passage dimming, today's proposed legislation would prohibit the EPA from moving forward with harmful, sweeping regulations."
The second component of this legislation stops the EPA from carrying out any activities relating to international indirect land use change in the implementation of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. Over the last year, the agency issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would charge a penalty to U.S. biofuels for land-use changes in other countries.
"The EPA's unsound and unproven modeling contends planting decisions of U.S. farmers drive the planting decisions of international farmers," states Marshall. "It is ludicrous to think a farmer in Missouri could be held responsible for the planting choices of a farmer in Brazil."
"I have been to Brazil and can tell you there are millions of acres of land that can be brought into production without touching a single acre of rainforest," Marshall continues. "Considering the EPA's flawed approach in addressing this international land use issue, today's proposed legislation takes the decision out of their hands."
Finally, the third leg of the bipartisan legislation opens the door for additional feedstocks to be used as renewable biomass. This measure is important to the continued growth and expansion of the nation's renewable energy industry.
"Congress must act to reign in the EPA and this bill is a step toward putting accountability where it was intended," concludes Marshall. "The proposed legislation introduced today by Congresswoman Emerson and Congressman Skelton takes us a long way down that path."
To learn more about MCGA and Missouri corn farmers, visit www.mocorn.org.