You either do … or you don’t

By Dan Wilson - Contributing columnist

The flippy-floppy policies put forth by the Obama administration and the Obama controlled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about enough to drive a farmer crazy. They just can’t seem to decide who’s side they’re on…or why?

The one thing my father couldn’t stand was indecision. You have a 11 crazy kids and a wife who was very opinionated; it took everything my father could muster to get us all on the same page. Granted he would just throw his hands up and say, “whatever your mother wants to do,” but that’s only because if he didn’t there might be hell to pay.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings, and he rarely would cuss, was “(expletive) or get off the pot” referring mainly to the ‘amount of traffic the bathrooms received on a daily basis — always someone needing to do something.

It’s funny how the words EPA and bathroom visits seem to go hand and hand.

The EPA it seems is dragging their collective feet regarding the renewable fuel standards …. AGAIN!

In a letter to the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, 39 senators said the agency should “take the opportunity to get the program back on track by setting blending targets where Congress intended” when regulators finalize 2017’s standards this year.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) led the letter; twelve Republicans, mostly from Midwestern states, signed on to the letter, along with Democrats from around the country which included Sherrod Brown from Ohio.

The EPA in May rolled out it is 2017 renewable fuel standard levels, proposing to instruct refiners to mix 18.8 billion gallons of biofuels into the country’s gasoline and diesel supply next year.

The level is higher than it’s been before, but still well below the levels Congress envisioned for 2017 when it passed the standard and something that directly effects our Ohio corn and soybean farmers.

The oil industry says it is blending as much fuel as it can into the oil supply. It has also sought a waiver from higher ethanol levels, citing a lack of fuel distribution infrastructure across the country. Biofuel interests, however, have lambasted the standards for being too low.

The EPA defended its new standards this week, with an official telling a House panel, “we think we are doing what we’re supposed to do, which is to look at the information, to talk to everybody to understand the industry as well as we can and do our very best to implement what we understand the intent of Congress to be, which is to have more renewable fuels in our transportation supply” … in other words, “whatever your mother wants to do!”

Even so, industry groups have pushed the EPA to boost the levels it has proposed for 2017 and beyond. Ethanol supporters in Congress have done the same.

“We urge you to ensure that the final rule promote growth in the U.S. biofuel sector and capture economic opportunity rather than drive investment overseas,” the senators wrote in their Friday letter.

It seems talk is cheap among the Obama administration and the EPA when it comes to the environment, clean burning fuel and choice for the American consumers. And just another slap in the face to the American farmer.

Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!

By Dan Wilson

Contributing columnist

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.