50°F

Stateliners Rally Against the EPA's Proposal to Reduce Ethanol in Fuel

Stateliners are speaking out against an EPA proposal.
Proposed changes by the EPA to the amount of Ethanol used in fuel, has sparked an uproar in the Stateline. In response, farmers, businessmen, and even US Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D, IL - !7th District) gathered at a rally to let their voices be heard.

Proposed changes by the EPA to the amount of Ethanol used in fuel, has sparked an uproar in the Stateline. In response farmers, businessmen,
and even US Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D, IL - 17th District) gathered at a rally to let their voices be heard.

The Stephenson County Farm Bureau building was packed with people who were upset. Why? The EPA is proposing that the amount of Ethanol required in gasoline be reduced. It's a move that hits business owner, Jay Butson, in the pocket.

"I don't think they understand economics!" Butson exclaims.

He came to the rally armed with a sign to share his concerns.

"It absolutely makes no sense to me that they would want to tank that type of business," he adds.

Gasoline costs are critical for him. Every year, he and his employees drive a total of 210,000 miles, and that translates into a lot of fuel.

Butson goes on further to say, "If I add it up annually what my company spends, we spent over $50,000 last year. If we didn't have Ethanol blended in our fuel, I would say we would be on the average of $60,000 to $65,000."

The EPA's proposed changes to Ethanol standards are also personal for US Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D, IL - 17th District). Her family has been in Agribusiness for decades. She says if this proposal becomes a law, it's going to be hard for farmers in her district as well as statewide.

"It is very personal and, I want to make sure that for the state of Illinois, for the Midwest, for the farmers--really to get away from that reliance on foreign oil, this is a part of the solution," Bustos affirms.

She spoke with the Administrator for the EPA about her concerns. She says she left the meeting feeling hopeful.


"In that conversation with her, she said that Biofuels are very important to our future," Bustos recalls.

What does all of this mean for the rest of us? Ray Baker, General Manager for Adkins Energy, says the proposed changes could affect you, too, every time you fill-up your gas tank.

"10% blend is pretty much used in almost every fuel blend that you go to in a station right now. So, if you didn't know you were using Ethanol, you probably learned that right now," he adds.

Butson says he left the rally feeling emboldened to continue to fight to maintain the current standards for Ethanol blends in fuel.


"I'm going to keep talking and trying to get the word out to folks," he proclaims.

Congresswoman Bustos told the concerned crowd that the EPA Administrator assured her that the changes are only being "proposed" for now.
Nothing has been set in stone yet. In the mean time, the public comment period will continue until January 28th.


















Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus