In northwest rural Ohio, farming supports the economy; if the farmers suffer, everyone feels the pinch. That’s happening now, thanks to a steep decline in farm income and one of the worst growing seasons on record.
We did get some good news when the Trump administration removed an outdated ban on the sale of E15 in the summer months, which could boost ethanol and corn markets. Unfortunately, the EPA is blocking that growth with secretive exemptions that allow some oil companies to not use ethanol. These exemptions hurt northwest Ohio farmers, ethanol producers and local communities. For the first time in 20 years, U.S. ethanol consumption fell in 2018.
Ethanol contributes more than $1 billion in GDP to the Ohio economy and has supported and created 17,697 jobs. Ohio is also one of 31 states where motorists can find lower-cost E15 and E85 options. If the EPA and the administration do not stop handing out these refinery exemptions, farmers and communities across Ohio will pay the price. We are counting on lawmakers to do their job and prevent businesses from abusing these waivers and destroying the American corn market.