BLOOMINGTON - Farmers cry foul as the Environmental Protection Agency unveils a proposal to lower the minimum amount of ethanol to be used in gasoline.
The EPA is proposing a 16% decrease in the current standard. Corn prices dropped as a result.
"This announcement is a significant hit for family farmers" says Paul Taylor, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. "Corn prices are already below the cost of production and this announcement will cause corn prices to drop even further... Big oil realizes massive profits yet again."
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 31 other members of the senate sent a letter to the EPA asking it to reconsider its proposal.
"Reducing the standard as the EPA proposed... would be a mistake" says Durbin. "The future of Illinois' rural economy and our nation's long term energy goals depend on this industry."
According to Fox Business, the ethanol program has undergone intense scrutiny in the wake of an investigative report from the Associated Press. It suggested the government's support of ethanol is having an adverse effect on land set aside for conservation.
On Friday, corn prices closed at their lowest level in more than week. Also, corn futures for December delivery fell 1.1% to $4.22 a bushel.