Rep. Bob Goodlatte is right to laud the American farmer (Bob Goodlatte: Celebrating American agriculture, March 22), but wrong to attack the one policy that has helped drive a rural economic revival – the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The RFS is revitalizing rural communities. It has created and sustained over 386,000 jobs, added $30.7 billion to household incomes, and contributed $8.3 billion to the local community by way of state, local, and federal taxes.
In 2013, the ethanol industry used 4.8 billion bushels of corn totaling more than $29.4 billion. Just last year the gross value of crops equaled $217 billion, livestock receipts hit a record high of $182 billion, and net farm income reached $131 billion.
Ethanol production also creates a high protein feedstock called dried distillers grain (DDG) which is very popular with livestock farmers for its high protein value. A 56-pound bushel of grain will produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17 pounds of DDGs.
It’s time for Rep. Goodlatte to stop attacking a program that is clearly helping American communities, American agriculture, and the American farmer.
Bob Dinneen is the president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.