January 28, 2016

Vote for Biofuels in 2016

Published in The Des Moines Register

The oil industry is coming after farmers.

It wants a lower market share for Iowa-grown fuel, and if it has its way, we’ll see higher prices at the pump, more money overseas for imports and depressed income/land values in Iowa. We can see this oil vs. ag fight playing out on the campaign trail, and with the caucuses nearing, this is the opportunity for Iowa-made renewable fuel to land a punch.

For years, corn — and the ethanol corn creates — has been a lifeline for farmers. Now, they are seeing  limits placed on the value of their farm operations due to the restrictions on ethanol production set by the EPA. Already, land value, farm income and other metrics of rural success have plateaued or fallen as ethanol production has been held back. With agriculture as one of Iowa’s largest industries, this has a real impact in cities like Des Moines as well as rural communities.

As the CEO of POET, I’ve watched firsthand the impact we’ve had on farms as we provide a new market for ag producers and help balance the grain supply. We have a special relationship with the farmers who supply our grain. Our work benefits each other. This is not the case with the oil industry in Iowa.

The oil states are hoping their interests can trump those of the Midwest, and the candidates for president have made clear where their priorities lie.

The ag community support candidates who support their livelihood. When oil states win, ag states like Iowa lose.

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