Dear Santa,

Over the past year Illinois farmers feel that they have been very well behaved. We have worked diligently to once again feed the world while making several changes to help our environment, protect the safety of our consumers, and produce high quality products. In fact, America’s corn farmers have cut soil erosion forty-four percent by using innovative conservation tillage methods! As far as yields are concerned, nationwide there has been a twenty percent increase since the year 2000. We hope that you will please take our Christmas list into consideration and do whatever you can to help us make the best better in the agricultural industry. Have a Merry Christmas!

Yours Truly,

Illinois Corn

1. Free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
2. Corn based ethanol to be allowed to qualify as an advanced biofuel.
3. Upgraded locks and dams.
4. Trust in the American farmer.
5. Market access for ethanol.

On our original Christmas list, we were asking for an extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). In an odd twist, Obama dressed up like Santa Claus and already dropped that extension off (one year at 45 cents) so we revised the list. Now, we’d like to take the next year and prepare for the elimination of the tax credit by asking for ethanol market access.

Fancy words for a Christmas list, right? By market access we mean that we want our consumers to find ethanol everywhere and use ethanol everywhere, which is going to require some major coordination on behalf of the industry, Congress, the EPA, manufacturers, and marketers. This is definitely a gift that only Santa could give.

We want more flex fuel vehicles so that consumers have the choice to use ethanol in their cars. We want the US Environmental Protection Agency to use science and not perception when they approve higher blends. We’d love more blender pumps which would allow consumers to select the blend of ethanol that worked best for their car’s performance and their pocketbooks. And overall, we want our country to decide that home grown fuel is what is best for Americans.

Ethanol pumps up rural economies. It prevents dollars from flowing off seas. It makes us energy independent. Ethanol decreases harmful emissions and keeps the air cleaner. It wouldn’t harm a soul if it were spilled in the ocean. It costs less for consumers. And yet, we (Congress, consumers, media) continually decide that ethanol isn’t the right choice for us.

What ethanol needs is a chance to compete. Market access gives us that chance by letting consumers choose their best fuel option. It’s really just that simple.

Kelsey Vance
Illinois State University Student


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